Over the course of several years I wrote a musical --a song cycle, really-- based upon the book of
Ruth from the Bible
It started in 2001 with Boaz' Song
pondered the subtle love affair implied in Ruth, which begins when Boaz asks his steward, "Whose damsel is this?"
KJV; I love the word "damsel"). You can listen to this song on
, with paintings of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz accompanying the live recording sung by Richard Paine (Tanya Oldson sings the part
One night after a worship team rehearsal I was asked what I'd written recently and I shared this song with
Sally Heimann, one of St. Jude's
worship leaders at the time. She said it
sounded like a song from a musical; amazingly, that
thought had never occurred to me. We laughed about it and she said, "Yeah, you could have Orpah sing, "Bye bye! So long!
Farewell!" and I thought that was really amusing. But I warmed to the thought and gradually started writing other songs.
My goal was to tell the Naomi-Ruth-Boaz story and stay consistent with the account from the Bible. I don't have
suitable recordings but lyrics can be found at Moonbird Music
I have performed portions of the piece at Azusa Pacific University for several different classes but the
whole work wasn't presented until June 23rd and June 24th, 2007, at St.
in Burbank, California.
We presented it in a "reader's theatre" format (no costumes or special lighting) and it was
enthusiastically received: the audiences were moved and delighted, lots of applause. The cast was wonderful; I am so proud of
them and grateful for their support and hard work.
Buzz Ayers - Elimelech and the "Nearer Kinsman"
Kristy Collins - Orpah
Tanya Oldson - Ruth
Richard Paine - Boaz
Lynn Maudlin - Naomi
Wendy Widlus (our narrator)
The program book
contains some history of bible times
that help a modern audience to understand the rather elaborate social dance which underpins the story of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz.
There's also an explanation of gleaning
. Please do check it out.
Links to the lyrics can be found here.