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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.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Praise to the Man

Lately, it seems that more and more, ideas for arrangements come to me as I am walking the river--a little phrase here and a little line there.  Other times the music comes crashing down on me all at once, so much so that I have to hurry home to start scribbling down notes before I forget.  This is one of those pieces.   

Soon after the death of Joseph Smith, William W. Phelps penned the words, “Praise to the Man who communed with Jehovah.”  His poem about Joseph would become a beloved hymn.   In honor of Phelps’ Scottish heritage, the hymn uses the melody from the folk song Scotland the Brave.

For those familiar with the text, you will know that Phelps ends his chorus with “ . . . death cannot conquer the hero again.”  But since I have never accepted the idea that death ever conquered the prophet Joseph in the first place, I just could not bring myself to include a  note representing that last word ‘again.’  As I play this arrangement I always end the melody with this version of the words echoing in my head: "Death cannot conquer the hero!!!” 
This one’s for you, Adam.

Click HERE to download free sheet music


  1. Especially, meaningful to me also! This beloved and powerful hymn was sung at my brother's funeral. Of my five brothers, only one is not active in the gospel. It is interesting and instructional that in his funeral comments he commented that the last phrase, "DEATH CANNOT CONQUER, THE HERO" resonated with him deeply! The power and influence of music transcends all languages and circumstances. Gene had not participated in gospel music for over 25 years and was struck boldly with the message of this hymn. We carry Scottish blood on my Father's side!! Here Here xo.

  2. Wow! Gorgeous and love what you said about Brother Joseph.