This song by Spark & Echo band is in response to the theme of "Light and Darkness" from Psalm 139.
Read the lyrics: Where Can I Go?
Written, Composed, Performed
Artist Curated by
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; thou understandest my thought afar off.
3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
7 Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15 My substance was not hid from thee when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
21 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
The Spark & Echo Band
This is the first song Jonathon and I have written together by collaborating throughout the process–tossing music and lyrics back and forth from start to finish–so the song took many forms before it arrived at what you hear it today. I was drawn to this psalm because it dealt with images of darkness and light, and because it is the story of someone who is running from God. In the psalm the writer speaks of trying to hide in darkness, but that it is impossible because “even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”
The first version of this song attempted to include all the beautiful imagery from the psalm, but it didn’t seem to work. After playing with the music, Jonathon and I settled into a feel that reflected the theme of “running from”–music that evoked a journey. From there I threw out most of the original lyric, and explored the themes from the feel of the music. Things began to fall into place.
This psalm is not just about a journey away from, but also a journey to discover. In the end the psalmist wishes to be caught.
-Emily Clare Zempel
The Spark & Echo Band is a family outfit of songwriting-storytellers led by husband and wife duo Jonathon Roberts and Emily Clare Zempel. Their music brings forgotten poetry and wild stories from the Bible to life: visions of sparkling wheels in the sky, hunger and thirst, and legends of love as strong as death weave with memorable melodies and captivating rhythms. Drawing from a classical background, influenced by the pianism of Rufus Wainwright and Ben Folds, and emulating Paul Simon’s narratival techniques, Spark & Echo sings epic tales of love and adventure.
The duo has collaborated on three full lengths albums (Spark&Echo, Inheritance, Cities Project), one video album (In the Clocktower), in addition to many theatrical collaborations, this very nonprofit, and two children. They live in beautiful Beacon, New York, with all of the above.