Indelible Grace Hymnbook

Psalm 130 (From Depths Of Woe) - IG6 Version

Martin Luther
Christopher Miner

1. From the depths of woe I raise to Thee
The voice of lamentation;
Lord, turn a gracious ear to me
And hear my supplication;
If Thou iniquities dost mark,
Our secret sins and misdeeds dark,

O who shall stand before Thee?(Who shall stand before Thee?)
O who shall stand before Thee?(Who shall stand before Thee?)

2. To wash away the crimson stain,
Grace, grace alone availeth;
Our works, alas! Are all in vain;
In much the best life faileth;
No man can glory in Thy sight,
All must alike confess Thy might,

And live alone by mercy(Live alone by mercy)
And live alone by mercy(Live alone by mercy)

3. Therefore my trust is in the Lord,
And not in mine own merit;
On Him my soul shall rest, His word
Upholds my fainting spirit;
His promised mercy is my fort,
My comfort and my sweet support;

I wait for it with patience(Wait for it with patience)
I wait for it with patience(Wait for it with patience)

4. What though I wait the live-long night,
And ’til the dawn appeareth,
My heart still trusteth in His might;
It doubteth not nor feareth;
Do thus, O ye of Israel’s seed,
Ye of the Spirit born indeed;

And wait ’til God appeareth(Wait ’til God appeareth)
And wait ’til God appeareth(Wait ’til God appeareth)

5. Though great our sins and sore our woes
His grace much more aboundeth;
His helping love no limit knows,
Our upmost need it soundeth.
Our Shepherd good and true is He,
Who will at last His Israel free

From all their sin and sorrow(All their sin and sorrow)
From all their sin and sorrow(All their sin and sorrow)

©1997 Christopher Miner Music.


Chris Miner introduced this song to RUF in the early Nineties – which means I have been leading people in singing it for over twenty years! In this time it has been performed in various ways, and while Chris’ original version (found on his CD The Calm Of Paradise) was slow and mournful, in many RUF groups it had evolved into an up-tempo sing-songy version that didn’t really fit the pathos of the words. I have been trying to find a way to perform the song that would make sense of the “out of the depths” feeling in the first two verses and also the confidence that comes in at verse three.

For a while I tried just starting slow and speeding it up. My friend Stephen Gordon had a way of playing it in a minor key that I liked, and so I messed around with going from minor to major and finally thought we were getting the right feel. I almost put this song on our acoustic CD By Thy Mercy but decided I wanted to do a more epic production that was beyond the scope of that record. I am so proud of how this one turned out. Andy Hubbard (a longtime IG contributor who played drums on “O The Deep Deep Love Of Jesus” on our very first CD) came up with the percussion loop in conjunction with Cason Cooley and engineer Buckley Miller. Buckley got the cool sound by running a mic through a bunch of guitar pedals – including the “Tangerine Squeeze” made by my friend Tim Creek. Chris Weigel took the day off of work to come play bass and he did a great job building the song.

Some might think it a bad idea to open a record with a seven minute song – but for me, this song really captures the heart of what this record is about. So often our experience here and now is a cry from the depths of woe, and we mustn’t minimize the reality of that place that God’s people regularly experience. And there is a certain comfort that comes from singing together in that place, we are not alone and song can help us experience this. But there is real hope for those who trust in Jesus – there is a joy beyond the sorrow, a day when God will set His Israel free from all her sin and sorrow. Yet you don’t easily or quickly go from the depths of woe to trusting with joy. I love the way this hymn takes five verses (and seven minutes) to make the journey.

I knew this had to be a duet, and think that Andy and Emily far surpassed my hopes for the emotional build of this song. When we sing this corporately in worship we stick to the melody as sung in verse one. But for the recording, I wanted Andy and Emily to keep going up to the harmony parts higher and higher as the song progressed. I was so thrilled that Andy could sing the last verse up a full octave, and his note at the end of the last verse reminds me of his days in The Normals when I first fell in love with his singing! (By the way, don’t try this at home, serious injury might result.) We set up mics after our RUF meeting one night to capture the RUF students (along with some of our Kickstarter backers) singing the last verse and they all sounded really great. The “dueling banjitars” (banjo guitars) are two performances bouncing off of each other rhythmically. (Credit my love of King Crimson and Robert Fripp for some influence here.) Cason was really great at helping me come up with the various electric guitar ideas, and I love his pad sound and delay keyboard sound. Listen to this one with headphones to here all the parts and the way they play off of each other. - Kevin Twit (March 2013)