A Bahá’í Composer, Allen Tyrone Johnson, is sharing his music free of charge to “help individuals worldwide grow closer to God”.
Setting Baha’i prayers to music in their translated english form is a considerable challenge, some shorter prayers are very well known in a musical form such as:
“Is there any Remover of difficulties save God? Say:
Praised be God! He is God! All are His servants, and all abide by His bidding.”
“O God, guide me, protect me, illumine the lamp of my heart and make me a brilliant star. Thou art the Mighty and the Powerful.”
Doug Cameron did a particularly good job with the prayer:
“O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.
O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord. ”
On the whole, however, longer prayers are difficult to set to music and Allen Tyrone Johnson has taken on the challenge with some much longer prayers, including the Long Healing Prayer. There is another version of the Long Healing Prayer set to music in which the last paragraph is spoken, in Allen Tyrone Johnson’s version the entire prayer is sung. The style of the singing is quite well removed from other prayers I have heard sung, sounding somewhere closer to a young Michael Jackson singing a ballad.
Of the six prayers available on the web site I listened to four of them and quite liked some of them, most particularly the marriage prayer. The Long Healing Prayer, which rarely takes more than ten to fifteen minutes to read, lasts for thirty five minutes which may be a little long to focus on as an individual prayer but would probably make for a meaningful meditation on the names and attributes that are called upon in the prayer, in fact Allen Tyrone Johnson went travelling with his rendition of this prayer calling it the “Long Healing Prayer Musical Devotional Experience.”
Setting prayers to music is a great service to offer the world, I will always remember “O God” Refresh and gladden my spirit…” thanks to Doug Cameron’s lively musical version of it. Making the fruits of these labours available free for everyone to download on the Internet ensures that almost anybody may have the chance to hear this music and benefit from it.
Thanks to the person who posted a comment elsewhere on my site to bring this to my attention.