George Mathewson penned a lyric about the strength available in a life fully yielded to God. It was matched to a simple hymn tune by George Martin, and in the version that was the source material for this arrangement, the harmonization was by Arthur Sullivan. Yes, the Sullivan who worked with a man named Gilbert. The hymn tune is strong and simple and the harmonization is as moving as the lyric. That this hymn never became more popular is a mystery.
Make me a captive, Lord,
And then I shall be free;
Force me to render up my sword,
And I shall conqueror be.
I sink in life's alarms
When by myself I stand;
Imprison me within thine arms,
And strong shall be my hand.
My heart is weak and poor
Until it master find;
It has no spring of action sure,
It varies with the wind.
It cannot freely move
Till Thou hast wrought its chain;
Enslave it with Thy matchless love,
And deathless it shall reign.
My pow'r is weak and low
Till I have learned to serve;
It wants the needed fire to glow,
It wants the breeze to nerve;
It cannot drive the world
Until itself be driv'n;
Its flag can only be un-furled
When Thou shalt breathe from heav'n.
My will is not my own
Till Thou hast made it Thine;
If it would reach a monarch's throne
It must its crown resign:
It only stands unbent
Amid the clashing strife,
When on Thy bosom it has leant
And found in Thee its life.
Make me a captive, Lord!
This arrangement can be sung by large choirs or by as few as just three singers. All three vocal parts are very moderate in range. The piano accompaniment is also relatively easy to play, so this is a great youth anthem or for use by almost any mixed group of singers.
MAKE ME A CAPTIVE, LORD, a hymn by George Martin with lyric by George Mathewson, arranged by Tom Kirkland for SAB choir with piano, comes in a pdf file of 326K, with an eight-page score and a license page, nine pages in all. Performance time should be about 3:40.
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Last update: 4 March 2021