As I thought about this song, Psalm 92 came to mind: “It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.”
The text for King of Heaven (Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven in the hymnbooks) is in fact loosely based on Psalm 103 where David pleads with himself, his soul, to praise the LORD and all the reasons why. To me this is one of the main purposes of church music- reminding us of what God has done, who He is, and inviting us to praise Him. I love songs that describe human experience, our questions and struggling. In the middle of things it can be hard to remember the bigger truths, though, that in fact give meaning to our experience.
On the album (Shelter), King of Heaven is the most simply recorded (total honesty, we were running out of time and patience, hah). There are no additional instruments, and I literally played the piano straight through twice and chose the better of the two. I sometimes think of it subsequently as the least special. However, when I let myself listen to the words and music simply, it can be one of the most meaningful.
I hope that if and when you listen to King of Heaven, or even sing it maybe (!) it will be a reminder to you of all the reasons it is good to praise God, all the ways He is unique, and His grace infinitely valuable in the midst of mundane and difficult, as well as happy, circumstances.
__________________________________________________________________Praise my soul, the King of Heaven To his feet your tribute bring, Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, Evermore his praises sing: Alleluia, Alleluia! Praise the everlasting King. Praise him for his grace and favor To all people in distress, Praise him still the same forever, Slow to chide and swift to bless. Alleluia, Alleluia! Glorious in his faithfulness. Fatherlike, he tends and spares us, Well our feeble frame he knows; In his hands he gently bears us, Rescues us from all our foes. (Alleluia, Alleluia! Widely as his mercy flows.) Angels in the height, adore him! You behold him face to face! Sun and moon bow down before him, All who dwell in time and space. Alleluia, Alleluia! Praise with us the God of grace! Alleluia, Alleluia! Praise with us the God of grace.