"God of Concrete, God of Steel"

A win for the alternative-to-Google browser Clusty I started using yesterday.

Last year I discovered the site godofconcrete.org, then dedicated to the modernist hymn, “God of Concrete, God of Steel” — a kind of Benedicite opera omnia for the space age. Here’s the text. It’s definitely a love-it-or-hate-it hymn. I love it because it assumed the singer approaches faith from a position of intelligence, doesn’t hive faith off from other human pursuits and doesn’t assume we live in the country. But the tunes to which it’s matched are too often jarring or ill-fitting. The site had an MP3 of a very singable guitar tune, which I have never been able to identify. Closer to a praise chorus than I’m normally drawn to, but still pleasing. (Note the original text was written by a Methodist, and the singer makes Calvinist alterations. But Universalists are something of a third-way to Arminians/Methodists and Calvinists, so I’ll take either version.)

Then the unthinkable happened. The site domain registration lapsed and it was picked up by an erectile dysfunction drug site. Which is funny, but not helpful. And I couldn’t find evidence of the site using Archive.org’s Wayback Machine. I thought the MP3 was lost.

Until I searched with Clusty — and it popped up. Enjoy (MP3)

10 Replies to “"God of Concrete, God of Steel"”

  1. I’ve found duckduckgo.com to be quite good as well, and they have a very good privacy policy. Not sure about the hymn though – very 1950s 🙂

    How about God of Bandwidth, God of RAM?

  2. Do you have the sheet music for this version? There is a different tune with sheet music on another blog, but I like this melody better. I’m pretty sure I’ve also sung this to Dix (For the Beauty of the Earth) but I can’t find the score for that either.

  3. No, I’m afraid I don’t have the music for recorded version (I don’t even know the name or composer. Or source) or the Dix version. Have only see it in a British hymnal, Hymns Ancient and Modern, I think, and not to a tune people enjoy, I gather.

  4. Lyrics by Richard Jones 1971. I love this song but this isnt the tune I know and I can’t find the right tune anywhere. This was in my school hymn book : New Orbit published by Galliard/Stainer and Bell LTD.

  5. It’s more fair to say this isn’t the tune the text was first matched to. But it’s better — more singable, more approachable — than others I’ve heard.

  6. I haven’t a clue if the tune I know is the one the text was first matched to. I’ve heard several but none of them is the ‘right’ tune as in the tune I know.

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