Rock of Ages
” He only is my rock and my salvation…”
Psalm 62:2 KJV.
Words by Augustus Montague Toplady
Melody by Thomas Hastings
Arranged by Sally DeFord
The rock formation in which the lyricist is said to have taken shelter during a storm, inspiring the words to the hymn.
About the Song
I have always loved the words to “Rock of Ages,” but for some reason, the 3/4 time always made me feel like it just didn’t give the words the weight they deserved. So this arrangement got the 4/4 treatment.
There are several different versions of the lyrics, and a verse between verses two and three as listed here. I have chosen to use the words as they appear in the 1985 LDS Hymn book, #111.
A note about the recording…
Fries or chips? Aluminum or aluminium? And, more to the point, resp-it or resp-eye-t?
It mainly depends on which side of the pond you call home. James and I argued over this one, and since the deciding vote came down to the author’s nationality (he was British), I lost. If you’re from outside the US, you’ll probably sing it like James does. If you’re an American, it’s likely to be resp-it, the provenance of the lyrics notwithstanding. However you say it, it means “a short period of rest or relief.”
Sheet Music Downloads
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Spotify, Soundcloud (inc. free downloads)
Rock of Ages (feat. James Loynes)
Rock of Ages (Accompaniment Track)
Rock of Ages (Piano Track)
(Click the to download the free track for personal use.)
Recording featuring vocals by James Loynes:
Apple Music, Amazon
These files may be copied/shared in any quantity in any physical format unless otherwise noted. They may not be re-sold or offered for download.
Apple Music: Rock of Ages (feat. James Loynes)
Apple Music: Rock of Ages (Accompaniment Track)
Apple Music: Rock of Ages (Piano Track)
Amazon: Rock of Ages (feat. James Loynes)
Amazon: Rock of Ages (Accompaniment Track)
Amazon: Rock of Ages (Piano Track)
(Video provided to YouTube by outside parties may contain ads that may be skipped after a few seconds.)
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath and make me pure.
Not the labor of my hands
Can fill all thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and thou alone.
While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown
And behold thee on thy throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee.
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Your arrangement lends great poignancy to the text and made me appreciate it in a new way. I found the 4/4 time signature more gentle and reverent than the original 3/4– which surprised me! I’m just getting acquainted with your compositions and arrangements and find them all so moving. Thank you so much for making your work a blessing available to all!
I love all the arrangements that you do!! You have a magic with music that I wish I had – but I love that you share with others! The only thing that I sometimes have problems with when playing is that my hands are small and I sometimes struggle with the music – but keep it coming – I can improvise!!
Good heavens! accompaniment is a mental nightmare for me! remembering which staff I should be playing!!! the sound is awesome. maybe I’ll sing and let someone else play! Dorothea
The 4/4 time is brilliant! What a gorgeous voice and spirit! Love!