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“Days of Elijah”

TITLE: "Days of Elijah"
AUTHOR: Robin Mark
TUNE: DAYS OF ELIJAH
COMPOSER: Robin Mark
SOURCE: Worship & Song, no. 3186
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 42:5-7; Leviticus 25; Ezekiel 37:1-6; Luke 4:16-20; 1 Corinthians 15:52; Revelation 1:4-9
TOPIC: David, Elijah, Ezekiel, John the Baptist, Moses, dry bones, Advent, Baptism of the Lord, desert, dry, harvest, Second Coming, Jubilee, praise and thanksgiving, righteousness, salvation, shining, temple, trials, Word of God, work, Zion, City of God, Christ the King

Background

Robin Mark is one of a number of gifted musicians and hymn writers from the British Isles. He is a contemporary Christian singer, musician, songwriter, and composer. Mark was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and still lives there, attending the Christian Fellowship Church Strandtown.

"Days of Elijah" is Mark's best-known song. Others include "All for Jesus," "Not by Might," "Revival," and "The Wonder of the Cross." His thirteen albums have sold more than two million copies worldwide. Mark has been active and known in the United Kingdom, Canada. and Europe since the early 1990s; and in the United States, Australia, and the rest of the world following his 1999 live album, Revival in Belfast.

Music

"Days of Elijah" has a verse/refrain structure within a solidly contemporary idiom. The melody of the verse remains in a low to middle range. It is highly rhythmic and syncopated, with most words being sung ahead of and anticipating the beat. The verse is in an AABA structure. Mark skillfully repeats the dotted rhythmic pattern in progressively rising patterns through the verse, coming to a close on a strong authentic V-I cadence.

The refrain breaks free of the rather rigid rhythmic and repeated melodic patterns of the verse. The change in melodic and rhythmic style and the rise in pitch of the refrain go well with the change in the text between verse and refrain.

The Worship & Song Accompaniment Edition includes an optional modulation and repeat of the refrain up a step.

Words

Mark uses the phrase "These are the days of…" to introduce a variety of scripture passages and to highlight four Old Testament prophets and leaders and the work that they did.

  • Isaiah: declaring the Word of the Lord
  • Moses: servant and restoration of righteousness
  • Ezekiel: the dry bones taking on flesh
  • David: servant and rebuilding the temple

Mark again uses the phrase to introduce a number of challenges and conditions in order to proclaim our proper response:

  • Trials, famine, darkness, war: We proclaim "Prepare ye the way of the Lord."
  • Harvest: We are evangelists to proclaim the Word of the Lord.

The exultant refrain recalls the vivid imagery of Christ's Second Coming from Revelation, making reference to the year of Jubilee and the final triumph of salvation. The commentary in the Worship & Song Leader's Edition contains a good summary of this text: "This is a song of victory and of hope, of God's triumph forever over death and of Christ's eternal reign. It also calls believers to stand fast, even in the face of troubles, and to witness to the promised coming of Christ."

Sources

See more Hymn Studies.

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