When I Am Baptized

This month’s song was chosen by my oldest son, Jack.  Jack gets baptized this Saturday.  So his choice was “When I Am Baptized.” It was one of those proud papa moments for me.

Anyhoo… about the arrangement.  So the lyrics talk about comparing rain to baptism and how the rain washes the earth clean, just like baptism can wash us clean.  I remember sitting on my porch as a kid in North Carolina watching the rain with my dad and couldn’t shake that visual while arranging this.  My dad grew up in the dry heat of Las Vegas, so both him and my Grandma still like to sit outside and watch the rain.  So do I.  It’s a nice time to think.

So I thought the best way to approach it would be to make the song sound like rain.  So there’s a bunch of downward cascading triplets to represent the idea of rain throughout the song, but primarily in the first verse since it talks about rain the most.

I always like to try something different with the second verse rather than just repeating the first, so I figured since the second verse talks more about baptism than the first, that it should be a stronger verse with a very straight cadence to it.  So it loses the triplets and uses a modified chord progression to give it some #umph.  I was kind of going for a type of graduation march as you’re moving on and committing yourself to being something great, so to speak.

The outro circles back to the same rain theme and slows down until the rain stops, with the last drop being a single tear. (For anyone that doesn’t get my sarcasm, that was a joke).

This was a fun one to do for multiple reasons, but mainly because it was arranged for my son and it was based off of memories I had with my dad when I was Jack’s age.

Thanks again for stopping by.  Next arrangement will be posted on August 1.  It’s my three-year-old daughter’s turn.  She knows maybe two songs.  Maybe.  I’ll let you guess which ones.

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Update – July 6, 2013

He did it!  I’m one proud papa.

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About Ben Howington

I'm just an average Mormon trying to offset the filth out there on the internet, one guitar arrangement at a time. (Mormon.org Profile)

33 comments

  1. Beautiful Ben, so lovely. It’s a beautiful arrangement, and I always consider it a privilege to watch you play, so, this is a win-win.

  2. Great work on the arrangement Ben, that was awesome. Also, this is a wonderful idea for an uplifting website, thanks for sharing your beautiful talent with the rest of us in such an inspiring way. I look forward to checking back each month to see what’s next.

  3. Ben, that was beautiful. It makes it so special to hear the background of the arrangement. As Rob said, thanks for sharing your talents with us!

  4. Beautiful! I had to share that on my Facebook page for everyone to see. You’ll need to play this during Greyson’s baptism in December. Seriously. Plan on it!

  5. Keep it up Ben! Though I have not yet got the first month’s song down, I will keep coming back for more.

  6. Você é meu herói. Ensino na primaria então conheço bem os hinos. Meus filhos gostam de adivinhar os nomes da música que tocas na guitarra. Bem feito, Elder.

  7. That is just so beautiful. My daughter is getting baptized on Sunday. Do you have any way for people to download your music as an mp3? After hearing this I don’t really want to hear anything else for the special musical number.

    • Thanks Erica! I’ll eventually record the audio version of these the right way so people can download high-quality versions of them, but for now you can rip the audio from the YouTube video using any online tool. http://www.youtube-mp3.org/ seems to be one that works well. I hope your daughter’s baptism goes great!

  8. Thank you so much for your beautiful arrangements! My daughter is 10 and plays classical guitar. I am going to see if she can play “When I am baptized” at her sisters baptism. OBRIGADA!!!! Did you go on a mission to Brazil? So did I!

  9. This is so wonderful! What an amazing talent and thanks for sharing. My daughter gets baptized in April and I was looking to see if there was a nice arrangement I could try and learn before then. This completely exceeded my expectations. I’m not sure I can handle it, but I will try. I can strum a chord with the best of them, but never tried to do anything that was church worthy.

    And on another note… glad to know there are other North Carolina Mormons out there! We are no Arizona or Idaho, but we are growing fast. And you have an adorable family.

    Thanks again for sharing.

    • Thank you so much! You can totally get it down by April. Just focus on one verse and play that twice. Maybe even slow it down for the first verse and then play it at normal speed for the second verse. It’s such a beautiful melody that I think it sometimes makes a bigger impact when you play it slower and softer. You can even take out those little descending triplets that represent the rain to make it a little easier. Just keep with it and I know you can get it!

      And seriously, NC is going crazy! It was just one small stake in Raleigh when I was young. I’ve lost track of how many stakes there are around us now. It’s amazing.

  10. Today being Sunday, I went looking for a hymn that I could begin learning and practicing on guitar. I came across your site and this song and let me tell you, it made my day. To be honest, I became rather emotional inside because it brought me to the remembrance of my own baptism.

    Thank you.

  11. Ben, this is a phenomenal service and influence you are providing. I found your website when looking for an acoustic arrangement of When I Am Baptized, and I have been thoroughly impressed. It’s like Jack Johnson was a Mormon. Thanks so much for sharing your awesomeness, and I am looking forward to following your music in the future.

  12. Needless to say, I love your music, I love the great songs, I love the feeling of the spirit when I listen. In my older years I have decided to be more serious with my little 6 string and this is a great place to come for wonderful music. Thank you for sharing your talent and for the tab sheets and lessons. “If You Could Hie to Kolob” and “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” are my two favorite songs and you do them so nicely. Thank you.

  13. Love this arrangement! Nice job…again! Every time I hear you play, I want to run grab the guitar…you’re songs are truly motivational.

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