Songs for New Year's Day (updated 2020)

  • FFS49 May the God of new beginnings (John Murray) Lovely blessing for a new start, to a simple tune. Lead sheet and lyrics (downloads pdf)
  • Online Resource At the door of the year (Shirley Murray) Great words of hope for the new year, and a lovely, very singable tune, and memorable chorus: "Make a vow that somehow we will all create peace". Lyrics and sheet music.
  • TiS 653 / NCH417 / CH526 / UMH383 / GC(II)453 / G(3)522 / W&R355 / Cha518 This is a day of new beginnings (Brian Wren) "This is a day of new beginnings, time to remember and move on, time to believe what love is bringing, laying to rest the pain that's gone." Excellent words of reconciliation. A good New Year's Day hymn. There are two possible tunes. I prefer the more simple hymn-like tune by Carlton Young which is in most resources (including TiS). There is an optional final verse that can be used for Communion. Lyrics.
  • CoC13 / Online Resource Come in come in New Year (Shirley Murray) A joyous New Year song, which can be sung for the Southern Hemisphere ("shining Summer day") or the Northern ("sparkling Winter day"). I particularly like Colin Gibson's tune in CoC (i); It also works for Darwall's 148th and many other standard hymn tunes. Lyrics and sheet music. 
  • TiS 47 / AHB 46 / AoV1-175 / NCH25 / CH161 / UMH117 / VU806 / LBW504 / ELW806 / GA459 / A&M746 / HPP1 / GtG687 / PH210 / GC614 / GC(II)588 / G(3)688 / CP528 / CP(E) 537 / W&R84 / Cha067 /  Srce2-441 / URW200 / 82Hml-680 / PfAS090B / Lau955 / StF132 / MP498 Our God our help in ages past (Isaac Watts) A good solid very well known hymn! The surprising thing about this one is that the language is inclusive for God in most sources. Not all sources are inclusive for humanity, so check. Lyrics, sheet music and sound sample. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • FFS26 God of the past (Judy Mills) A good song to a simple tune; thanksgiving. Great for New Year as it gives thanks for the past, and hope for the future. It would also work well for congregations facing change. Lyrics (on page 23 of this PDF).
  • LBW222 / WoV778 / ELW480 / W&R433 O Christ the Same (Timothy Dudley-Smith) A bit more formal than I would usually suggest, but it's worth letting you know that this song is out there. Could be sung to RED or LONDONDERRY AIR. New words to old tunes Lyrics
  • Online Resource God bless the day (Shirley Murray) More excellent lyrics from Shirley Murray! These focus on the theme of leaving the past behind and looking to the future with clear eyes. This might be good sung after the absolution. The tune is also quite simple. Lyrics and sheet music
  • CP(E) 82 / 82Hml-251 O God whom neither time nor space (Horace Smith) An older style hymn casting away the old year, and committing to the new. I'm sure the lyrics could be modernised and it would still sound good (and be easier for those not inclined to thees and thous). Lyrics.
  • Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians Celebrate a new day dawning (Jann Aldredge-Clanton) Great new hymn words, sung to ODE TO JOY. New words to old tunes Lyrics 
  • Iona (Love From Below) / GA555 / G(II)648 / GC894 / GC(II)877 / G(3)989 / Lau712 The God of all eternity unbound by space yet always near (John Bell) Sung to the familiar tune O WALY WALY. Some non-inclusive language in the Gather hymnals. Lyrics.
  • Online Resource At the turning of the year (Michael Hudson) Excellent words from the United Methodist General Board of Discipleship set to a simple hymn tune (RATISBON). New words to old tunes Sheet music.
  • Online ResourceOn this day of celebration (Carolyn Winfrey Gillette) Good solid words to ODE TO JOY. LyricsNew words to old tunes
  • Online Resource A new year confronts us (Fred Pratt Green) Good, thoughtful words, sung to a range of possible standard hymn tunes. Lyrics
  • Online Resource As the old year passes (David MacGregor) Good practical honest words to the familiar hymn tune NOEL NOUVELET. Lyrics (or check the comments below). New words to old tunes.
These songs are not specific for new year, but would work well:
  • Tune In / Online Resource Making things new (Sheree Anderson). A groovy one. Great for kids, and lots of fun. Sound sample, lyrics and free songbook. Good for kids.
  • AoV2-007 / AoVNG110 See I Make All Things New (Monica O'Brien, Trish Watts) I really love this song. “New, as night turns to morning, the spirit is calling I’m with you, I make all things new”. Sound sample.
  • AoV2-085 / Iona (T1AU) / MV115 / A&M328 / SP129 Behold behold I Make All Things New (John Bell) A nice hopeful upbeat short song. Highly recommended. Sound sample (scroll down) Good for kids.
What will you be singing? Let me know your ideas by posting a comment... 


David MacGregor said...

Hi Natalie

You might also be interested in my own: AS THE OLD YEAR PASSES. It's written to the tune: TIS 665/Noel Nouvelet. Lyrics are below:

DAVID MacGregor

David MacGregor said...

Not sure I posted the lyrics to:
Sorry, if that's the case ...

1. As the old year passes
we look back, reflect:
times of joy and promise,
times we’d best forget.
God of the ages
help us walk your way.
Help us greet your future,
seize tomorrow’s day

2. As the old year passes
sorrow wells within:
loved ones no more ‘round us,
all that could have been.
God of compassion
heal each ailing heart.
Guide us to your future
where new life may start

3. As the old year passes
we cry for our struggling world.
Climate ever-changing,
fighting too-often heard.
Jesus, you call us
to cherish all you give.
Call us to your future
where all in peace, might live

4. As the new year dawns now
we would give you praise.
Faithful God, come lead us
onward in new ways.
We’ll love and serve you
in the faith of Christ,
in your Spirit’s future;
people of new life.

© David MacGregor 2007
Willow Publishing

Unknown said...

David McGregor - are the lyrics covered under OneLicence?