A Song of David’s Repentance:
“A Broken Heart” is based on Psalm 51, which a repentant King David wrote after the prophet Nathan confronted him about committing the dual sins of adultery (with Bathsheba) and murder (of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah).
“Things were getting too easy for David; he had leisure to stay at home while Joab and his men were out fighting Ammonites and Syrians. In his leisure he looked from his rooftop at his neighbor’s wife. Leisure and lust led to adultery and then to murder, which sins had eternal repercussions, as well as tragic earthly results. It is one of the shocking and serious warnings of the Old Testament that a man may be ever so good and great and eminent and still have weaknesses which can lead to deeds that entirely overshadow and defeat the better self!” (Rasmussen, Introduction to the Old Testament, 1:185.)
As a youth, David was said to be a man after the Lord’s “own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14) but he paid a heavy price for his disobedience to the commandments when he was king.
The key to the Psalm (and song) is found in verse 17: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart,” As king, David could have provided any burnt offering required, but he knew the real sacrifice required of God was a broken & contrite heart and spirit. That requirement for cleansing is the same today:
“If you are suffering the disheartening effects of transgression, please recognize that the only path to permanent relief from sadness is sincere repentance with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Realize your full dependence upon the Lord and your need to align your life with His teachings. There is really no other way to get lasting healing and peace.” (Elder Richard G. Scott, “Trust in the Lord,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 16)
Many thanks to my good friends who lent their voices to the MP3 of A Broken Heart: Arlene Marker; Robert Olsen; Karen Gebhardt; Lori Blean; Gregory Krehbiel; James Marker; Steve Gilchrist; Christy Gilchrist; Bill Sieber; Tasha Fischer; Susan Torbenson; Mikaela Torbenson. We rehearsed during the late Wisconsin winter of 2015 and recorded this past spring. Read about our session here:
I wrote A Broken Heart as an SATB a cappella hymn because I wanted it to be easily accessible to others and sung often. We mortals continue to be prone to making poor choices and need to hear this tender Psalm of David. Through music, the Spirit can touch our spirit, compelling us to turn to God and begin again on the healing path to happiness.
FREE SHEET MUSIC!
Please use the link below to view and print the SATB sheet music for “A Broken Heart”. Let me know when (and where) you sing it with your own group! Please consider sending me a video or MP3 via the Wanda Sieber Musicals Facebook page, or by tweeting it to me: @wandasieber. Enjoy!