The thirsty deer longs for the streams
Source: Singing the Faith: 514
Words: George Mulrain (Psalm 42)
Music: Trad Caribbean arr Paul Leddington Wright
Ideas for use
This paraphrase of Psalm 42 uses the rhythms of a traditional Caribbean calypso to help lift the downcast singer out of his or her misery. The music almost demands the use of maracas and other “shaking” instruments, encouraging participation that would appeal to children in particular.
The verse/refrain structure also suggests the possibility of a soloist singing the verses, and the congregation answering him or her with the reassuring words of the refrain:
O put your hope in our God,
yes, God is our help,
O sing praises to our living God.
“The thirsty deer longs for the streams” offers a simplified paraphrase of Psalm 42, with verses 5 and 6 of the original (repeated at the end of the psalm: verse 11) providing the words for the upbeat refrain:
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help and my God.
- Verse 1 draws upon verses 1-3a of the psalm
- Verse 2 draws upon verse 4 of the psalm
- Verse 3 draws upon verse 10 of the psalm
Born in the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, the Revd Dr George Mulrain is a pastor, educator, author, and composer. Since 2003 he has been Connexional President of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas. Prior to that he ministered in Haiti and held teaching and administrative positions at the United Theological College of the West Indies and in Selly Oak, Birmingham, in the UK.
George has written widely on pastoral and theological questions and has used the idea of calypso rhythms as a metaphor for the way in which Christians from Caribbean backgrounds might reflect on the Gospel stories and Christian tradition. (e.g. Is there a Calypso Exegesis? in Voices from the Margin, ed. R.S. Sugirtharajah, Orbis/ SPCK, 1995; The Music of Caribbean Theology in Black Theology Journal, 1998).
As a member of the Global Praise Working Group of the United Methodist Church’s Board of Global Ministries, George was a compiler of Caribbean Praise (edited by ST Kimbrough and Carlton Young).