Friday, December 3, 2010

Clara Scott

Regrettably, I have not found any more information about the life of Clara Scott, whose birthday in 1841 we mark today, than the little I've written in the last two years. I remain interested in her because of the variety of material she produced, even though only one of her songs remains known today, Open my eyes, that I may see. Someday I hope to get a look at her Royal Anthem Book (1882), the first collection of choir anthems known to have been edited by a woman, which was well-reviewed in its day.

Her little collection of hymns and songs (many by her), Truth in Song, for the Lovers of Truth Everywhere (1896) is quite interesting to explore. She writes in the preface to the book that it is:

"an attempt to meet the needs of a rapidly growing number of Christian people who read in Christ's teachings a design, broad enough to cover all conditions and races (...) To them, the religion of Jesus Christ is free, untrammeled by sect or creed; a religion of joy, of peace and harmony. The dearth of gospel songs bearing directly upon these vital themes has necessitated an unusually frequent appearance of the Editor's name..."

As writers and composers have always known, if you can't find the hymns and songs you want to sing, write them yourself.

This song, written and composed by Scott, from Truth in Song, is based on Jesus' familiar words from John 14:6 ("I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life").

Rejoice with me! I’ve found the Way
That Jesus made so clear,
Gone are the thorns of pain and sin,
Dispersed each doubt and fear;
I am the Way, the Truth, the Life.
Said Christ, the Word divine,
Then follow me, and perfect life
Shall be forever thine.

Rejoice with me! I’ve found the Truth,
Glad truth that sets me free,
God is my all; in God I’ve found
Health, peace and harmony.
O Christ, thou art the Way, the Truth,
Thou art the Life divine!
I’ll follow thee, and perfect life
Shall be forever mine.

Rejoice with me! I’ve found the Life
The Savior came to prove;
’Tis God in me and I in God,
Just resting in God's Love.
Oh, blest the Way, the Truth, the Life!
Blest immortality!
Sing now, my soul! Time’s but a breath;
We’re in eternity.

Clara Scott, 1896; alt.

You can see a listing of several of Scott's other songs at, though unfortunately not their texts or tunes.

Two Years Ago: Clara Scott

One Year Ago: Clara Scott

Another Birthday Today: Frank Mason North

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