Peter's Blog

There Once Was A Man

Written by Peter Johnston on .

Thanks to everyone who sent in submissions for our latest virtual choir piece. On the wave of the sea shanty revival, this is based on the traditional tune for "Wellerman", but with new words telling the story of Noah and the Ark. This was written specifically for Sunday 21 February 2021 when we will be focussing on that great Old Testament story. 

A massive thanks to Kevin for creating the musical arrangement.

If you want to download a copy of the video for use in an online worship service, please feel free to do so. You can get it directly from here.

The musical score is available here.

And the lyrics are:

There once was a man who walked with God,
a righteous man, who feared the Lord.
Old Noah heard what God did say:
this wicked world is done. (Huh)

                Soon may the Covenant come,
                from thunder clouds to shining sun,
                then will the holy one
                reveal the Arc of God.

With Shem and Ham and Japheth too
Old Noah set to build his crew.
The cypress trees came a-tumblin’ down,
the keel was laid for good. (Huh)

The ship did rise above the trees,
far distant from the nearest seas.
The people came to take a look
and smirked at Noah’s boat. (Huh)

The roof was fixed, the pitch did seal,
the door was opened wide with zeal.
The animals came in two by two
to find a place onboard. (Huh)

That awful day when the rains did fall,
the earth did weep and people bawl,
as judgement day arrived for all,
Old Noah’s ark did bob. (Huh)

For forty days and forty nights,
the rain came down, there was no sight,
and huddled deep in timbered frame,
creation’s remnant lodged. (Huh)

The rains did cease, the waters fell,
and a dove returned to break the spell,
becalmed upon the sea they dwelt,
until they ran aground. (Huh)

‘This ground I will not curse again,
be fruitful now, let life be gain,’
so said the Lord to Noah’s ain,
with rainbow sign and seal. (Huh)

Words: Peter Johnston