How Long O Lord - Repp

Picture of a road in Vermont with a sign towards the Long Trail North:   How long, O Lord, must we keep waiting? How long must we keep on this way,  Hoping for something we don't understand,  Hoping that You have not forgotten us?  How long, O Lord, must we keep looking for an answer to certain things that cannot be?  Our hearts are tied up with no place to go; How long, O Lord,  till we are free? 1  We can't go on the way we are; Mistrust has led us astray. Open our minds, and truth we'll find,  Or else it will be too late. 2  So shed your light upon your people;  We walk in darkness and alone. Bring all men closer to each other's side, Then all the answers might be known.
This folk-influenced hymn, which expresses a deep longing for God's assistance, was written by American social justice advocate and at-the-time Roman Catholic seminarian, Ray Repp (b ).

It expresses similar ideas to those in Psalm 13, but apart from the opening phrase does not appear to be a direct setting of it.

The song was published in the 1965 Folk Hymnal for Young Christians, Volume 2, and in the 1967 recording "Come Alive" which was released by Friends of English in the Liturgy (FEL).   Copyright was registered in 1967 by Repp's company, Otter Creek Music.   Later, it was included in the 2004 compilation album The Best of Ray Repp volume 1

The song is set to an unnamed tune, also by Repp. This has a C time signature. In the key of D the first few notes are A, D E F ED F B, B,

The only known source of sheet music are 2nd hand copies of the Folk Hymnal for Young Christians Volume 2.



Downloads


Examples


Professional recording by Repp (remake) - guitar and flute backing:


Lyrics

The lyrics are copyright so cannot be reproduced here. But they are currently available on this website. A rough outline is:
Chorus:
How long, O Lord, must we keep waiting?
How long must we keep on this way,
Hoping for something we don't understand,
Hoping that You have not forgotten us?
How long, O Lord, must we keep looking for an answer
To certain things that cannot be?
Our hearts are tied up with no place to go;
How long, O Lord, till we are free?

1 We can't go on the way we are;
Mistrust has led us astray.
Open our minds, and truth we'll find,
Or else it will be too late.

2 So shed your light upon your people;
We walk in darkness and alone.
Bring all men closer to each other's side,
Then all the answers might be known.


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