From the recording In Harmony
3. LORD, LEAD ME – words and music by J.C. Mueller (1817), arr. Friesen
Eugene Friesen, cello; Rhonda Larson, flute; Tim Ray, piano.
Village music director, surgeon, teacher, and scientist, Johann Christoph Mueller was a complex figure among the elders of the community. He was an original founder of Harmony and was a committed follower of George Rapp, yet he struggled in his spiritual life. Given the letters from Rapp lecturing him on his choices, opinions, and attitudes, it’s poignant to think of J.C. composing this sauntering, humble prayer.
The Harmonists loved waltzes, the archives at Old Economy Village are bursting with them, and this graceful hymn, originally titled “Herr, Führe Mich,” is offered here as an instrumental waltz.
O Father lead me with angels faithful, safe through my youthful vibrant hall,
I follow Thee with anxious shyness and yearn but for Thy presence in all,
I follow Thee through stormy ether with wounded feet on the thorny way;
Lord, carry me through the mountains’ danger, this is my fate from day to day.
(English adaptation by Emily Lapisardi)