Joshua’s story of Courage:
In the new musical Old Testament Records, the song “Courage!” picks up the narrative just as Joshua assumes leadership of Israel after Moses’ death.
How does one follow a great leader? How would WE have felt in Joshua’s position?
* Thousands of families depending on him…
* A huge task ahead (marching into the Promised Land…)
* He is NOT Moses – of course he will lead differently… how will people respond?
Under these circumstances, God speaks directly to this new leader. In Joshua 1, he twice counsels Joshua to “be strong and of good courage” – A divine pep-talk! And how did the Israelites feel about Joshua? They also told Joshua to “be strong and of good courage” and voiced their strong support of his leadership.
In writing “Courage!”, I knew I wanted to tell the story of Joshua’s preparing and leading Israel into the battle of Jericho: What they did to make “the walls come a-tumbling down” is truly amazing! The story is found in Joshua 6:1-20.
Throughout this song, “Courage!”, I used the companion intervals of perfect 4ths and 5ths. A shofar – the ram’s horn uses as a horn on sacred occasions (and used in the battle of Jericho) – has the interval of a perfect 5th. Every time Joshua sings “have courage” in this song, the word “courage” is sung with the interval of that perfect 5th, just like the shofar. The perfect 4th interval is also used throughout the song – the horns echoing through the valley during the introduction are a good example – because an octave is made up of a perfect 4th + a perfect 5th.
While there were not military bands at the time of the Exodus, this song came into my head with just such an arrangement. Were there snare drums and tenor quads in Israel’s camp? Well, there will be on the stage of Old Testament Records!
I envision the staging of this song to include the entire drumline (Woot! Woot!) and horn section coming onto the stage to participate front and center in the performance! It will be thrilling!!
To hear about what it was like to arrange “Courage!”, (pretty intimidating, actually…) please view this progress post.
The lyrics for “Courage!” can be found here.
The only thing missing from this recording is the “Jericho Shout”: The post-shofar yell of the Israelites that brings down the walls of Jericho. In thinking about the theater performance of this song, I hope future audiences catch on and join the cast in shouting after the shofar sounds – what a great theater moment that could be!
The “Courage!” Artists:
Who is that great vocalist leading the army? This MP3 features Luke Aumann as Joshua – thanks for lending your voice to this song! And thanks to my daughter, Louisa Sieber, for once again lifting my songs with her great drum work and audio tech skills!
My goal for these MP3 demos of songs from Old Testament Records is to have them heard by someone who could premier this show. While I’ve produced all previous shows, I know this musical needs a symphony, pyrotechnics (thanks, Elijah!) and other resource beyond my abilities. Please share these songs often! For a listing of all Old Testament Records MP3 available to date, please click here!
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