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July 17, 2022 - #4844 Music & the Spoken Word

The Music & the Spoken Word broadcast airs live via TV, radio, and internet stream on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. mountain time. For information on other airtimes, visit “Airing Schedules” at


Conductor: Mack Wilberg
Organist: Brian Mathias
Announcer: Lloyd Newell
Featuring Guest Soloist: Shea Owens

“Light Dawns on a Weary World”
Music: Mack Wilberg
Lyrics: Mary Louise Bringle

“I Feel My Savior’s Love”1
Music: K. Newell Dayley
Lyrics: Ralph Rodgers, K. Newell Dayley, and Laurie Huffman

“Jesus Loves Me” (organ solo)
Music: William B. Bradbury
Arrangement: Brian Mathias

“There But for You Go I” from Brigadoon
Music: Frederick Loewe
Lyrics: Alan J. Lerner
Arrangement: Arthur Harris
Featuring Shea Owens

“As the Dew from Heaven Distilling”
Music: Joseph J. Daynes
Lyrics: Thomas Kelly

Music and Lyrics: Carole Bayer Sager, David Foster, and Richard Page
Arrangement: Mark Hayes
Featuring Shea Owens

“The Morning Breaks”2
Music: George Careless
Lyricist: Parley P. Pratt
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

  1. From the album Love Is Spoken Here.
  2. From the album Praise to the Man.

The Spoken Word

“As the Dew from Heaven Distilling”

Today, we begin our 94th year of continuous weekly broadcasting with an observation about the way each of those weekly broadcasts ends. For nearly all its history, Music & the Spoken Word has concluded with a signature theme, performed by the organist. The tune was written by Joseph J. Daynes, a Tabernacle organist who began playing for the Choir when he was just 16 years old and accompanied the Choir for 33 years during the late 1800s.

If you’ve listened to the broadcast before, you will recognize his reverent and exalting melody, titled “As the Dew from Heaven Distilling.” Less well-known, however, are the lyrics that go with it.

They were written by Thomas Kelly, a 19th-century Irish preacher. But Kelly’s hymn text actually has much more ancient roots, reaching back to the biblical “song of Moses”:

“Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew” (Deuteronomy 32:1–2).

Historical records are not clear on why “As the Dew from Heaven Distilling” was chosen as the closing refrain for Music & the Spoken Word. Even so, the symbolism does feel appropriate. Dew from heaven can revive, nourish, and uplift. And yet, unlike the occasional heavy rainstorm, dew distills gently, peacefully, and consistently—morning after morning, year after year. This is our hope: to share with all the world God’s love, His hope, and His nourishing truth “as the dew from heaven distilling.”

So today, when the organist plays the closing theme, in addition to enjoying the beautiful music, you might also think about dew from heaven, its gentle influence on your soul, and these words written by Thomas Kelly so long ago:

As the dew from heav’n distilling
Gently on the grass descends
And revives it, thus fulfilling
What thy providence intends,

Let thy doctrine, Lord, so gracious,
Thus descending from above,
Blest by thee, prove efficacious
To fulfill thy work of love.1

  1. Hymns, no. 149.