A Child’s Prayer

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For anyone who went to primary in the LDS church, “A Child’s Prayer” is probably a familiar song from the LDS Children’s Songbook. Even as an adult, this song has always been one of my favorites. It is the quiet prayer given from a child, and then a response to that prayer. The words and music, written by Janice Kapp Perry, are simple and profound.

Years ago during summer break, I was hanging out with my friend Barry Bridges at his house in Eagle River, Alaska. A little background on Barry: I met Barry when I was in middle school and he was in high school. My older brother and Barry sang in swing choir together in high school, and we found as many opportunities on the side to sing with Barry. Why??? Because Barry has an incredible voice! If you’re reading this and you know Barry, you’ve probably heard him sing and can attest to that fact. Not only does he have a gorgeous tenor and bass voice, but somehow he can hit notes that only the highest sopranos wish to attain. And it all sounds buttery smooth. Anyways, I was at Barry’s house messing around on his piano, when he told me to scoot over because he wanted to show me something. Barry wasn’t much of a pianist, but he could plunk out what he needed to to sing along. He sat down and began playing “A Child’s Prayer,” except the song Barry was playing was a little bit different.

The key was changed to fit a high tenor range, and the time signature was changed from 3/4 to 4/4. For those unfamiliar with this song, it’s designed to be a duet. The first verse is one melody, and the 2nd verse is a different melody, and for the 3rd verse, you sing both melodies together. Although we talked about it, we never had a chance to actually finish Barry’s arrangement and perform it before we went our separate ways for school at the end of the summer. It really was a beautiful song, and the changes that Barry made to the song have been stuck in my head since then.

I’ve thought about his arrangement over the years, and I always wanted to do it. So I finally sat down and wrote out my own arrangement of Barry’s arrangement of “A Child’s Prayer.” I even added additional lyrics for a 3rd verse.

Since this is a children’s song, I don’t sing it in church anymore. But every once in a while on a Sunday, I’ll be walking by the primary room with my own child in my arms and I’ll hear those angelic voices sing this beautiful song. I’m reminded that we are all children pleading to our Heavenly Father for help, and maybe even wondering sometimes if He is really there, or if He will answer our prayers. Heaven is far away, but I do feel it close around me when I pray.

So here it is, under the “Free Music” section. If you’re looking for a great tenor duet, consider this inspiring and profound children’s song.

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