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The Spirit Song

‘As the Wind Song Through the Trees’ is a collaboration between Dr Lim Swee Hong (Singapore) and Ms Shirley Murray (New Zealand). Dr Lim is the Director of the Master of Sacred Music programme at Emmanuel College in Toronto. Shirley is a distinguished hymn writer whose works address issues of the environment, social justice, and other social concerns.

In 2005, Dr Lim shared a tune with Shirley, asking if she would write lyrics for it. After some time, ‘As the Wind Song Through the Trees’ was inspired.

In the song, Shirley expresses the presence of the Holy Spirit with references from John 3:8 and Acts 2:1-4. The wind song, stirring of the breeze, the rainbow, and the green in the spring are interwoven with dancing tongues of fire, a voice within the storm, and hope that is born again. Shirley also added John Wesley’s words from his Aldersgate experience, “as the heart made strangely warm”.

Tucked in the imagery of the lyrics are two lines that depict how God’s Spirit works within us. The first stanza reveals that the Holy Spirit brings life (Romans 8:1a) and power (Acts 1:8). The second stanza proclaims that the Holy Spirit brings gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1-11) and love (Galatians 5:22).

These two lines end with “to the world”, perhaps serving as Shirley’s reminders that the Holy Spirit makes life, power, gifts, and love available to all. Thus, the Church, united in Christ and empowered by God through the Holy Spirit, is emboldened to respond.


As the Wind Song Through the Trees

As the wind song through the trees,
as the stirring of the breeze,
so it is with the Spirit of God,
as the heart made strangely warm,
as the voice within the storm,
so it is with the Spirit of God.
Never seen, ever known
where this wind has blown
bringing life, bringing power to the world,
as the dancing tongues of fire,
as the soul’s most deep desire,

so it is with the Spirit of God.

As the rainbow after rain,
as the hope that’s born again,

so it is with the Spirit of God,
as the green in the spring,
as a kite on a string,
so it is with the Spirit of God,
making worlds that are new,
making peace come true,
bringing gifts, bringing love to the world,
as the rising of the yeast,
as the wine at the feast,
so it is with the Spirit of God.

Words: Shirley Murray
Music: Lim Swee Hong

Lyrics reprinted with permission from Let the Asian Church Rejoice, an Asian hymnal jointly published by Trinity Theological College and the Methodist School of Music © 2015.

Judith Laoyan-Mosomos
is the Director for Worship and Church Music at the Methodist School of Music, and a member of Kampong Kapor Methodist Church.

Picture by Smileus/Bigstock.com