If you missed yesterday’s post where I mentioned Page CXVI’s free album, here’s your chance to make it right.  Go get the album.  Seven songs, a half-hour of music.  Nicely done music.

The hymns are in there, and they’re not hidden.  The instrumentation is sparse but appropriate.  The girl singing isn’t showing off – she’s worshipping.  Really good stuff.

But the last song, Joy, is jarring.  It’s the Sunday School song “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart”, but it’s sung in a minor key.   It ends up being somewhere between a dirge and a lament.  The words can barely escape her throat – the joy simply isn’t there.

It’s melancholy.  Not satirical or mocking – this is a Psalm of David, crying out and asking God where He is.

The bridge – the climax of the song – goes

And I can’t understand
and I can’t pretend
that this will be alright in the end.
So I’ll try my best,
and lift up my chest
to sing about this
joy joy joy joy.

The resolution in the song is provided in a hymn that answers the question posed by the dissonance of the happy words and the mournful tune.

When peace like a river attendeth my way
when sorrows like seas billows roll
whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
it is well, it is well with my soul.

The answer lies not within us, but with us resting in God.  Sometimes we’re in a dirgey place within ourselves, and even the happiest song comes out blue.  That’s okay – God never changes.  And He promises us that it is well with our souls.  Deut 31:8 says

The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged .

Even in the midst of a lament.