Our David has returned to his Welsh roots, translating two hymns well-known in the Principality of Heaven. Here is Calon Lan, which I have set alongside verses from Psalm 51, which must have been playing somewhere in Gwyrosydd’s (Daniel James) the original writer’s head, as the verses flowed from his pen.
King David is making his peace with God after the miserable affair of his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband. And this is the great hero of Israel …
These pieces beautifully introduce a series of reflections from Sister Joanna Caton of Minster Abbey, on what it is to be a person.
Calon Lân – A Pure Heart.
I’m not asking for a luxurious life, the gold of the world or its pearls,
I’m asking for a happy heart, an honest heart and a pure heart.
Refrain: A pure heart full of goodness is lovelier than the lily,
Only a pure heart can sing day and night.
If we wish for the world’s wealth: it’s got fast wings,
But the wealth of a virtuous, pure heart brings everlasting profit.
My wish in the late morning is to ascend on wings of song
So God, for the sake of my soul, give me a pure heart.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.