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Madera C.M.

By Jesse P. Karlsberg

B♭ major
Plain tune
Time signature
Charles Wesley, 1779


I wrote "Madera" as a retirement gift for Debra Madera, long-time staff member at the Pitts Theology Library Special Collections. Pitts is home to the papers and songbook collection of Sacred Harp composer and scholar Raymond C. Hamrick, part of a world-renowned collection of English and American hymnody. Brandon Wason, archivist at Pitts, selected a hymn by Charles Wesley as the song’s text in reference to Pitts’s Methodist legacy. The text addresses the theme of helping others, a tribute Debra’s record of helping visitors to the archive. My musical setting features Hamrick's favorite key (Bb major) and favorite mode of time (3/2). I’ve also written the song drawing on Hamrick melodic and harmonic style (to the best of my ability). I wrote the tune on January 25, 2022, in one sitting and harmonized the song a couple of weeks later.


Help us to help each other, Lord,
each other's cross to bear;
let each his friendly aid afford,
and feel another's care.

Up into thee, our living head,
let us in all things grow,
and by thy sacrifice be led
the fruits of love to show.

Touched by the lodestone of thy love
let all our hearts agree;
and ever towards each other move,
and ever move towards thee.

This is the bond of perfectness,
thy spotless charity.
O let us still, we pray, possess
the mind that was in thee.