New Getty Album Celebrates the Rich Irish Heritage of Classic Hymns
By Dan Brownell
Confessio, Keith and Kristyn Getty’s new album, which released Oct. 29, celebrates the musical legacy of the couple’s Scots Irish heritage that’s contributed to many of the classic hymns Christians have sung for generations. The album includes both new and old songs to strengthen and deepen the faith of believers of all ages.
Confessio features traditional Irish melodies and instruments and the Gettys’ signature sound. The lead song, “Pass the Promise” is a memorable, easily sung new piece for the church. Guest artists on the album include Alison Krauss (“In Christ Alone”), and Sandra McCracken (“All My Heart Rejoices” and “Pass the Promise”), and Kirk Whalum and Dana Masters (“Amazing Grace”).
More Songs That Endure
The album came out of Keith’s desire to develop more music that endures the test of time. “I started to write hymns 20 years ago with ‘In Christ Alone,’ and I wanted to write songs that people could carry with them for a longer period of time than just a transient praise and worship song. And I then became a publisher of other people who did that because I wanted to see that multiply and other people do it. I realized that these great hymns last — songs like ‘Be Thou My Vision,’ ‘Amazing Grace,’ ‘It Is Well With My Soul,’ and ‘This Is My Father’s World.’”
“When we learn to sing those songs,” Keith said, “you’re giving somebody a gift that they will have for 30, 40, 50 years, certainly the rest of their life.” They’re passed down from generation to generation. Their lyrics are profound and lifechanging because they’re immersed in Scripture. We can learn so much practical theology from them that we can apply to our lives and model to our children and grandchildren so they can incorporate them in their own lives. Keith shared how he has a passion for that to take place in the lives of his own children.
“I hope my daughters say, ‘Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,’ he said. “I hope they say, ‘Be Thou my wisdom’ when they make decisions. I hope they say, ‘Be Thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight’ when they face temptation. I hope when they have success in life they say, ‘Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise.’ And I hope they say, “High King of heaven” after a victory won — that they know that is their goal in life.
Passing on a Legacy
Christians stand on the shoulders of faithful believers of the past. “I developed a real gratitude that I’m not here today because I somehow worked out Christianity by myself,” Keith said. “God used faithful farmers and tradesmen and pastors and teachers and mothers and aunts and doctors and musicians to pass on that faith. And my raison d’ être is to take care of my four young girls and pass that faith faithfully on to them.”
An Irish Heritage
The album is a tribute to the land and musicians of Keith and Kristyn’s home country. “This whole album is essentially a diary or a love letter to the north of Ireland,” Keith said. “We went home for a year. We lived there for 10 months and we learned about our history.
“As we traveled, we remembered our childhoods … we were able to teach our daughters about it. There’s so much history there. For example, we took our girls to Buncrana in County Donegal one day. First, it’s a beautiful seaside town, but secondly, it’s where there’s a monument to John Newton, where his boat came in where he was supposed to have become a Christian and formulated the ideas for ‘Amazing Grace.’”
The album’s front cover features an eye-catching illustration of a dense growth of trees to highlight the concept of our intertwined roots. “We know well how a tree’s roots go down vertically beneath the soil but don’t often realize how they also reach out horizontally, sometimes several times wider than the branch width of the tree,” the Getty website explains. “When Psalm 1 compares the godly life to a tree planted by streams of water, it’s a water stream reached for by millions of people over centuries and around the world who have joined their roots together. This idea of intertwining roots also paints a beautiful picture of how our musical roots link. They help strengthen old shelters and blossom new trees.”
• This Is My Father’s World
• When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
• Pass the Promise
• Amazing Grace
• Come Thou Almighty King
• And Are You Sleeping?
• Medley: Waulking Song / All My Heart Rejoices (Song of Anna)
• It Is Well with My Soul
• How Can I Keep from Singing?
• Be Thou My Vision
• Farewell to Ballymoney
• In Christ Alone
The new rendition of the song “It Is Well With My Soul” is featured in the upcoming film Sabina: Tortured for Christ, the Nazi Years (sabinamovie.com), which shares the inspiring, true story of Sabina (Oster) Wurmbrand and her husband, Richard, who founded The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) persecution.com, an interdenominational missions organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world.
The Gettys’ Upcoming Tour Dates