The music for O I Will Praise You All Day Long has been around since 1994, when the piece came to me as I was freely worshipping the Lord on my guitar. There were no words to it, and I could not find any, so I just left it as that.
The words only came to me in 1998, while waiting for the bus to take us back to Singapore (my babies and I had just attended Clarine Chun’s children worship seminar at Alor Setar, Malaysia). We were worshipping the Lord when I broke into the music, and I just sang out the words. NT, one of my students, quickly took out a pen and paper and recorded down the piece.
This was the first of my songs to be sung in the Sunday School, in chapel in Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary and also in the Church of Our Saviour main service. It was also the song I spent the most time in arranging, when I produced the album Music of Our Hearts.
There was an interesting twist to the story behind this song. Soon after I released my album, I became aware of the existence of a song very, very alike mine. I probed into the matter, and spoke to the cell leader of the “composer”. It was then that we all realised that she had heard the song from someone in my church when they had gone on a mission trip, and assumed that it was in the public domain.
I was prepared not to pursue the matter further, citing the reason that God must have been behind all these – after all, I really like her version, and the arrangement was much better than mine. The words from the cell leader astounded me with the wisdom, “Render unto God that which is God’s, and unto Caesar, Caesar’s.” I understood what he meant – even though I did not mind, right now on earth, the ownership of the song is rightfully mine, and recognition should be given as such.
Please do support me by purchasing the album, if the music has ministered to you.