I’ve been reading a ton lately and posting here on Fridays about those books. But I’m going to take a break from book reviews for a couple months (I think it may be that long) to share a series of posts I’d been wanting to write for some time. Here on Fridays I’m going to share about the worship artists who have influenced me over the years, starting with when I was a kid to those I’m currently listening to.

My first exposure to worship music was a vinyl record led by a cartoon hymnal named Psalty. Psalty the Psalter, I think it was. I remember my twin sister and me as kindergartners dancing in the living room to the songs of the first Kids Praise album while my mom made cookies in the kitchen.

Some of these songs were outrageously fun, like “The Butterfly Song” and “The Wa Wa Song.” But there were also some contemporary choruses that I still love to sing today, including “Jesus, Name Above All Names” and “Seek Ye First.” We must have also had the follow up collection, because I remember “Arky Arky” and “In His Time.”

These melodies were incredibly easy to sing. Sometimes I miss the simplicity of these songs. These days I struggle with guitar riffs and what I call basement/attic songs, where half the song (usually the verses) is quite low while the other (chorus, bridge) is insanely high. How rich would our worship service today be if we stopped all the clamor and just sang, “In my life, Lord, be glorified …”?

These Kids Praise songs were among the first I ever played. Even before I began piano lessons, I started plunking out the melodies, and nearly 30 years later, I still play primarily by ear (though I can easily read music).

Thank you, Psalty, for leading me as a child, back when I didn’t care about (or know anything about) singing in tune and when I danced freely, as in: “I’m gonna jump down, turn around, hit the ground, and praise my Lord.” And thank you, Mom, for investing in those records.

Becky, hit play on this video, and you’ll be transported back with me. Thinking these days I could play the honky tonk piano.

Now I’ve got a hankering for a sugar cookie.

4 thoughts on “Worship Influences #1 – Psalty, the Psalter

  1. Hi Matt,
    This is Debby Kerner Rettino writing. My husabnd, Ernie Rettino, and I created Psalty the Singing Songbook. I found your blog because your podcast was placed right under our first new Psalty album in 15 years, “Faith It! God Love Me,” on iTunes. Thank you so much for that podcast. I hear you on the simple melodies – my beef as a worship leader and programer are the ranges on the songs. We appreciate your kind words. They encouraged us. When you go to “Psalty” on iTunes it takes you to our new album and your podcast – linked because Psalty is on both of them. It is difficult to describe the content of “Faith It!” because it’s content is layered so that kids and adults will enjoy it. Also, it has many biblical truths within and between the songs. This album has many simple choruses that help kids memorize scripture. God bless you! Your podcast said it better than we could


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