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“God Is Good, All the Time”

TITLE: "God Is Good, All the time"
AUTHOR: Dean McIntyre
TUNE: GOD IS GOOD
COMPOSER: Dean McIntyre
SOURCE: Worship & Song (2011), no. 3026 SOURCE: Zion Still Sings (2007), no. 18
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 86:5; 107:1; 145; 145:9
TOPIC: prayer, God's presence, doubt, hope, fear, despair, sorrow, hope, singing, thanks and praise

Background

Some years ago, the phrase "God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good" became popular and spread throughout the church. It was used as a greeting and as a response, often in call-and-response pattern; and it remains in use today.

In 2001 on a long flight from Nashville to Seattle and then on the return flight, I wrote three songs, this being the first. The other two songs, "In the Quiet of This Moment" and "Until Jesus Comes" are also included in Worship && Song. I first wrote down the melody and words on an American Airlines drink napkin as we were being served complimentary drinks somewhere over Colorado and finished off the first verse upon returning home.

The editorial committee for the Abingdon Press Zion Still Sings songbook decided to include it and asked for additional verses that might be used for a variety of times and occasions, and I provided stanzas 2-5. The five stanzas are not intended to be sung together. You may find it useful to use one or more stanzas at a time.

Words

The "God is good, God is good all the time" phrase is repeated as the first, second, and fourth phrases in the song. It opens on Bb, is then repeated a step higher on C, and closes the song in phrase four yet another step higher on D. The lines for phrase three provide the variety of use for the song as they describe various emotions and human conditions:

  • st. 1: doubts, fears and tears contrasted with hopes and joys
  • st. 2: alone in our despair
  • st. 3: surrounded by love
  • st. 4: singing, even in time of sorrow
  • st. 5: raising thanks and praise to God

In all these emotions and conditions, of course, the message is that God is good, all the time.

Music

The music is intended to be performed in a rather slow but rhythmically strong gospel style. The tempo should be about 80 for the quarter note, with each beat having a strong triplet division and accent on each first beat. Despite the appearance of the rhythm of the melody, each quarter note that follows a sixteenth note should be treated as an emphasized staccato note, resulting in the repetition of very short phrases separated by a moment of silence, but not interrupting the flow of the rhythm.

When the Zion Still Sings editorial committee first sang through this song, composer and friend Mark Miller went to the piano, played and sang through the first stanza, but on the final phrase four substituted the words, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow," pointing out the unintentional identity.

Guitar-Friendly Chords

Capo 1: A7 | D F# |G B7/F# | Em E | A7 | D D7 | G Em | B7 E7 A7 | D G D ||

See more Hymn Studies.

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