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My recommended version of Godspell
on February 16, 2005
As there are many versions of Godspell it is hard to choose the best version. As you read this review then you may find my guidance helpful.
If you buy Godspell make sure it has these songs: Prepare ye, Day by Day, Save the people, All Good Gifts, Learn your lesson well, Turn back oh man, Bless the Lord, Light of the world, By My side, Beautiful City, and On the willows. The movie has all these.
The movie has two excellent songs Beautiful City, and Light of the World which are not on some other versions.
All Good gifts is my favorite. I prefer the 1993 version because the singer is better than the movie singer whose falsetto on higher notes is not to my taste.
Godspell is based on Matthew's Gospel, and contains various American music styles. Day by Day starts as a Jazzy gospel Waltz changing to straight 8 rock, with harmonies and counter melodies.
All Good Gifts lyrics come from a two hundred years old hymn, with beautiful early Elton John piano style accompaniment. By My side is a great folk style song, with wonderful harmonies.
On the willows is based on Psalm 137. You may know the song 'By the rivers of Babylon.' Perhaps you can imagine the Egyptians taunting the Israeli slaves to sing one of their songs of Zion for their mirth. Light of the world has a funk motown riff. Ragtime, broadway and vaudeville are in other songs.
I got this CD two years ago when we were doing the songs in choir, not liking all the songs. Yet the more you listen the more you tend to like it, as it grows on you. I still listen regularly. [...]