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Where the road runs out

Where the road runs out. Colin Gibson* (1933- ). Written in 1976 to celebrate the centenary of the author and composer’s local Methodist church, it was used as the theme song for a national conference the following year focusing on ‘the future’. The tune name, COLUMBUS, was chosen to symbolize an exploratory attitude to the future as well as to harmonize with the text’s nautical imagery. The hymn blends biblical with New Zealand land and seascape images as it moves imaginatively from a place where ‘the road runs out and the sign posts end’ to a stormy scene out on the open sea. It has a Trinitarian structure, beginning with the God of Abraham (Genesis 12: 1), then calling on ‘the sailor’s...

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