I Turn to Thee – The Story Behind the Song

I Turn to Thee – The Story Behind the Song

PaulaSnow1croppedComposer Paula Snow has been referred to as a “gifted” writer whose talents have “blessed many” who have heard her music.  Her writing reflects a depth of experience and perspective that resonates universally.

Paula spoke with us about what led her to write her recently published piece, “I Turn to Thee”.

“We sing to babies soon after they are born.  It calms and settles theirman-person-cute-young-medium transition into a noisy confusing world.  I think it is just as important to sing to one (aged or young) who is transitioning between life and death.  Letting go of mortality can be very difficult.”

“A few years ago I sat with an unconscious elderly man in the final hours of his life.  I softly sang songs I knew were familiar to his boyhood.  Then, on impulse, I began to sing “Homeward Bound”Terminally-ill-large_trans++pJliwavx4coWFCaEkEsb3kvxIt-lGGWCWqwLa_RXJU8 written by Marta Keen.  Somewhere in the middle of that sweet song, the alarm on his heart monitor went off.  For a moment I thought he had died and my singing had indeed killed him.  The alarm soon stopped and the nurse explained that he had only been holding his breath.  He died, peacefully, a few hours later.”

“Pondering over the experience, I felt impressed that it was the imagery of that incredible song that had caused him to hold his breath.  What he saw and heard and felt I may never know for sure.  But I believe that it was music that calmed and settled him at the crossroads of his mortality.  From that time until the present I have desired to write that kind of music…Music that could bring peace and comfort to the wounded heart and the homesick soul.”IMG

Paula tells of her personal experiences with her grandmother that contributed to the development of her own faith and compassion.

“I dedicated the music “I Turn To Thee” to my paternal grandmother, Sarah Donnally Simons.  She’s been gone since I was sixteen, and I miss her dearly. She took me by the hand as a  little child and taught me the importance of visiting the old, the sick, and those who are in need by her gentle, Christlike example.”

 “I Turn to Thee” is characterized by a kind of pastoral charm that invokes warmth and peace. Paula’s lyrical images of nature and of God’s beautiful creations reassure the listener that He is there, and that if we recognize and turn to Him, He will turn to us and sustain us.

“I Turn to Thee” is available from Music for Worship as a Vocal Solo for low/medium voice and also for SSA women’s ensemble.

About The Author

Rachel Mecham Goates is partner and Director of Marketing at Music for Worship and musicforworship.net. She is an award-winning composer, arranger, and songwriter, whose works have been widely performed in the United States and internationally. Rachel is the mother of seven children and resides in a rural town in central Utah.



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