Thanks for Visiting

Over time I have written a number of songs. I will continue to add them to this blog so, please, keep coming back to see what's new.


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

O Holy Night

I tried.  I tried.  I really tried.  When I sat down to arrange this piece I tried to keep it soft and delicate from start to finish.  I almost made it.  But then it just popped out there.  In my mind I heard the lyrics “Fall on your knees!  Oh, hear the angel voices!  O night divine, o night when Christ was born …”  and my heart just couldn't contain it.  John Sullivan Dwight’s English translation of this carol combined with the soaring music crafted by Adolphe Adam have made this one of the most beautiful, inspired pieces ever written.  

O Holy Night!  The stars are brightly shining,

It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

’Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope - the weary world rejoices,

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees!  Oh, hear the angel voices!

O night divine, o night when Christ was born;

O night, O Holy Night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,

With glowing hearts by his cradle we stand.

So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,

Now come the wise men from the Orient land.

The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger; 

In all our trials born to be our friend.

He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,

Behold your King!  Before him lowly bend!

Behold your King!  Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,

His law is love and his gospel is peace.

Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother,

And in his name all oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of joy in graceful chorus raise we,

With all our hearts we praise his holy name.

Christ is the Lord!  Then ever, ever praise we,

His power and glory evermore proclaim!

His power and glory evermore proclaim! 

Whatever your circumstance, wherever life takes you, here’s wishing you a hope-filled holiday season.   Merry Christmas!!!

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Saturday, November 7, 2020

All Things Bright and Beautiful

This is the third hymn I’ve arranged whose text was written by Cecil Frances Alexander.  My first was There is a Green Hill Far Away, then He Is Risen, and now this.  For that reason I have decided to take a closer look and focus in on the author.

Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1818, Cecil Frances Alexander was the third child of John and Elizabeth Humphreys.  John noticed that his timid daughter showed an interest in poetry and writing at an early age, which he encouraged.  I wonder if he had any idea that his shy little girl would within a few years be known throughout the British Empire and would in her lifetime publish more than 400 hymn texts.

Cecil, or “Fanny” as she was known to family and friends, was influenced in religion by the Oxford movement.  Some of her hymns were elaborate in character, but it was in writing for a younger audience that her talent shined brightest.  Her most enduring hymns were written to help children understand Bible truths. In 1848 she published Hymns for Little Children, which included some of her most famous such as All Things Bright and Beautiful, Once in Royal David’s City, and There is a Green Hill Far Away.  Her hope was that all children might have the opportunity to hear and absorb basic Christian doctrines.

During her lifetime, Fanny was known for her devotion to the poor, the deaf, and the sick.  The proceeds of her publications were often donated to charities enriching the lives of disadvantaged children and those with physical challenges.

In 1850, Fanny married William Alexander, an Irish cleric in the Church of Ireland.   He went on to become a bishop, archbishop, and finally primate for all Ireland.  Together they had four children.  Her husband wrote of her, “From one poor home to another she went.  Christ was ever with her, and in her, all felt her influence.”

According to Duncan Campbell, Mrs. Alexander was deaf to applause, but when someone wrote to tell of a great change in heart and life that had come to a worldly man through hearing one of her hymns sung, she sprang from her chair exclaiming, “Thank God! I do like to hear that.” Those, however, who knew her best felt that, beautiful as her hymns were, her life was more beautiful still.

She was compassionate, gifted, humble and hardworking.  She invested her life in loving, teaching and caring for others.  I would love to have known her in this life, yet in a way I feel that I already do.  Cecil Frances Alexander, you’re my hero!!

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Never to be Forgotten

The forget-me-not is a delicate little flower that might easily be overlooked in a garden.  However, this humble flower with its five blue petals deserves a second look.  It is a symbol of remembrance and undying love. 

One of the most popular myths about the forget-me-not’s name takes place at the time of the creation.  After God created the flowers, he started to name each one. Once he had named them and was about to leave, one tiny voice cried out, “Forget me not, O Lord!”  God looked back at the tiny plant and replied, “This will be your name so no one will ever forget you.”

I wrote this my freshman year in college.  It was another composition class assignment.  “Write something for two instruments.”  That was all we had to run with.  The class was for non-music majors, so the professor gave us a lot of freedom.  One of my roommates was Miranda Steele from Cherokee, Iowa.  Fun.  Fun.  Fun.  She was an accomplished violinist, so I decided to write for piano and violin.  She could pretty much sight read anything I threw in front of her.   I remember the two of us in the basement of our Fox Hall apartment where the piano was, playing deep into the night until we got kicked out. 


In hindsight it’s probably a good idea to hold off on writing for an instrument you know nothing about, but that never entered my mind.  Forgive my lack of proper violin notation.   When I named the piece I wanted the title to represent something different for each and every person that heard it.   

The forget-me-not’s message is to take the time to remember those you love.  Make memories that will last.  Respect and honor those who have gone before you, making sure their stories are still being told to future generations.

Click HERE to download free piano and violin sheet music

Click HERE to download free violin only sheet music

Friday, August 21, 2020

I Know That My Redeemer Lives & Rhapsody in Blue

I stopped taking piano lessons my senior year of high school.  The years that followed I continued to play here and there but I never really pushed myself like I did when I was young.  Come to think of it,  I'm not sure I ever really applied myself back then either.  Queen of Mediocrity.   I should embroider that on a pillow.  When my youngest was about 4 years old I decided to hit it again and take lessons.  I wanted to try to get back to the level I was at when I was 18. 

I absolutely loved my two years  studying with Rozanne Hogan.  She is simply AMAZING!!!  I spent an entire year rediscovering all 31 pages of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with her.  What. A. Blast.

I wrote this for my sister, Julie.   I Know That My Redeemer Lives is one of her favs (mine too.)  Of the six Crockett kids, Julie came first.  She has me by three years.   I've always looked up to her -- always loved being around her.  We've made some sweet memories through the years.  She's saved the day on more than one occasion.  When we get to talking, she knows what I'm saying even when I don't realize what I'm saying is coming out backwards.  We laugh a lot.   She is the perfect eldest sister.  She's kind, wise, fun, and she has a heart of pure gold.  I only wish a little of her would have rubbed off on me.

So this arrangement … it may seem like a bit of a stretch pairing these two pieces up,  but if you're in doubt,  just wait until the last page.  It's emotionally charged and it blows me away every time I play it.  Thank you George!!!  The arrangement is written for four part women's voices.  What with COVID and all, for now I had to settle for a recording with strings instead of actual voices but you get the idea.

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Sunday, July 26, 2020

All Creatures of Our God and King

I have so many favorite hymns — too numerous to mention really, but if pressed I would have to say that my all-time favorite has to be the hymn All Creatures of Our God and King.  The words combined with the music are heavenly.  The tone seems to express a desire for man and nature to be one.   The third verse speaks of the flowing water which brings cleansing and healing.  I like to think of that clear water as being a symbol of Christ, the Living Water.

My first attempt at hymn arranging began with this very piece over 30 years ago.  Once finished, I never really felt like I did it justice so I hid it away and rarely looked it.  Just the other day I decided to dust it off and give it another chance.  I beefed it up with a one page intro.  At the end I added a few more pages including a few lines of Ralph (pronounced Rafe) Vaughan Williams’ work.  His rich harmonies flow like a river and move in ways that reach deep in my soul.

Even now I still think my arrangement isn’t as good as I would like, but if it brings to mind the sentiment conveyed by St. Francis of Assisi centuries ago, then I guess it wasn't in vain.

All creatures of our God and King,
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam,
Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Alleluia!  Oh, praise Him!  Alleluia! 

Thou rushing wind that art so strong,
Ye clouds that sail in heav’n along,
Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Thou rising morn, in praise rejoice;
Ye light of evening, find a voice,
Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear,
Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That gives to man both warmth and light,
Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Dear Mother Earth, who day by day
Unfoldest blessings on our way,
Alleluia!  Alleluia!

The flow’rs and fruits that in thee grow,
Let them his glory also show,

Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Click HERE to download free sheet music

*Photo credit:  Echo Studios

Thursday, July 9, 2020

I Think the World Is Glorious

This is another one of those I’ve-loved-this-song-for-as-long-as-I-can-remember type songs.  Even better— it was written the year I was born so that’s gotta mean something, right?  Other than that it’s been around for a reeeeeeally long time.

To me this song is about seeing nature through the eyes of a child.  It’s about a little voice pouring out her heart in song — a thankful expression that lifts the soul while praising God.

Psalms 100:1-2  “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands.  Serve the Lord with gladness; come before his presence with singing.”

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Monday, April 20, 2020

I Need Thee Every Hour

I am the luckiest.  For most of my childhood I was blessed having both of my grandmothers living in my hometown. It was an added bonus having two great grandmothers nearby as well.  A special bond exists between grandmothers and granddaughters.  We had silly sleepovers, crazy fun outdoor adventures and warm family gatherings.  

And there was music.  When I first began accompanying the children in Sunday School, Grandma Jennie was the music director.  I loved hearing her play her autoharp. Each year the family laughed and laughed as we performed the bells at Christmas time.  I would ride my bike over to her house to practice her organ when I was around ten.  I still remember one day taking a break from my practicing so that she could teach me to dance the cha cha.  Oh how we giggled!   

Singing around the piano, Grandma Nott would request her three favorites: Minuet Waltz, Blue Moon and I Need Thee Every Hour.  She sang straight from her heart.  She was born and raised in Texas, and if there’s one thing a Texan knows, it’s how to sing a plaintive melody.  My sisters and I would always ask her to sing the folk songs she learned from her mother that tugged at our heartstrings.  

This arrangement is dedicated to my beautiful grandmothers.  It was written for three-part women’s voices.  It’s a little on the low side.   Here in the video my daughter sings it alone (er… as a duet if you count Skylee).  To perform it as a solo, simply sing the second soprano part until measure 28 and then jump up to the first soprano.  Thanks again and again Jesse for the video!!!  You ROCK!!!  I am also including an instrumental audio version with three part harmony. 

Click HERE to download free sheet music