The Music of Kelly Van Shaar

Adam-ondi-Ahman

~ Religious, LDS, hymn, piano and cello ~ 2017-06-12


An arrangement of the LDS hymn, appropriate for church meetings.

Lyrics

1. This earth was once a garden place,
With all her glories common,
And men did live a holy race,
And worship Jesus face to face,
In Adam-ondi-Ahman.

2. We read that Enoch walked with God,
Above the pow’r of mammon,
While Zion spread herself abroad,
And Saints and angels sang aloud,
In Adam-ondi-Ahman.

3. Her land was good and greatly blest,
Beyond all Israel’s Canaan;
Her fame was known from east to west,
Her peace was great, and pure the rest
Of Adam-ondi-Ahman.

Adam with God;
Adam with God.

4. Hosanna to such days to come,
The Savior’s second coming,
When all the earth in glorious bloom
Affords the Saints a holy home,
Like Adam-ondi-Ahman.

Notes / Back story

I have loved this hymn since I was young, due largely to a recording of it done by LDS folk musician Marvin Payne. Recently in Sunday school, the teacher mentioned that this hymn was sung at the dedication of the Kirtland temple. She said that she was not familiar with the tune, and many in the class seemed to agree. I immediately hatched a plan to do this song as a special number the following week.

During the week, I created this arrangement of this song and asked one of our sister missionaries to play it for me. I didn't use cello in that performance; just added it for the recording later.

Adam-ondi-Ahman is the name of the Garden of Eden and the surrounding area where Adam and Eve raised their posterity after they left the Garden. In the Adamic language, which is the pure language that God taught to Adam and Eve, the literal translation is "The place where Adam walked with God" or put simply, "Adam with God." I added this line as an interlude between the third and fourth verses to bring out the meaning of the title.

The first three verses of the song talk about how great life must have been there in the Garden, speaking face to face with God. The last verse speaks of, how once again in the last days the Earth will be renewed and become once again like the Garden of Eden, and how great it will be to live there.

The first three verses are fairly close to the original in melody and chord structure; the third verse kinda takes off in a new direction.

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