Song Suggestion: Come to Jesus
What is it about some songs? As soon as you start singing them, all feels “right” and you just know that it’s going to really engage the assembly and touch their hearts and souls. Some songs seem to have that perfect balance of lyric, melody, and accompaniment that just simply works. For me, “Come to Jesus” by Josh Blakesley and Sarah Hart is one of those songs.
Published by spiritandsong.com, the recording from Josh’s album “Waiting,” produced by Jeff Thomas, is really beautiful and well–done. When you hear it you immediately want to sing along. You want to share it with your assembly. The melody is simple and in a comfortable range. (I play it in C major.) The lyrics are wonderfully inviting–literally and artistically.
The first thing you will notice when you listen to the song is the guitar-based intro. As a keyboard player, I always need to adapt guitar–driven songs for the piano, especially if I’m the one leading. “Come to Jesus” starts with an 8th note pattern, setting up a pulse that is a nice support for the melody. It’s not a typical strum-along. That would change the feel completely. The 8th note pattern is crucial, I think, to setting the tone of this song. The way I play it is to alternate between a fourth and a third in the right hand, using lots of pedal to ‘muddy’ it up. G below middle C is on the bottom. The pattern looks something like this:
Top note: C C C B B C C C C C C B B C C C
Bottom note: G each time
I use that for the intro, playing low whole notes in the left hand, of course. When the verse melody comes in I simply play the melody as the top note, keeping the G on the bottom, and maintaining that 8th note pulse. When we get to: “Let go your every fear…” I switch to a more standard/typical piano accompaniment.
The way we introduce a song, or “set it up” instrumentally, can greatly impact it’s overall success. Be careful to play in a way that captures the flavor of the song. Play in a way that supports the melody and doesn’t distract from it.
I hope you are able to check out this song and will consider sharing it with your assembly. I think you will find that it is both beautiful and effective in drawing people into worship.