Hymns - Songwriters
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Some hymns are based on existing tunes and some based on existing poems. Many hymns are sung to more than one tune.
Music by William Monk. The lyrics were written by Henry Francis Lyte in 1847 while he lay dying from tuberculosis; he survived only a further three weeks after its completion.
Words: Johann Heerman, 1630 (Trans. Robert Bridges 1899) Tune: Herzliebster Jesu, Johann Cruger
Lyrics by Francis of Assisi, ca. 1225; trans. by William H. Draper, 1925, adapt. 1987. Music: Geistliche Kirchengesane, 1623; harm. by Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1906
Lyrics by Christopher Wordsworth. There are two versions of the music for this hymn - Ludwig Beethoven & Arthur Sullivan. Ludwig Beethoven’s music has been used for various hymns.
Lyrics published in Altar Songs, Verses on the Holy Eucharist, 1867. Rowland Prichard wrote the music (Hyfrydol). Alternate tunes: 'Adoration' (Luard-Selby) by Bertram Luard-Selby, in Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1904, 'Alleluia' (Wesley) by Samuel S.Wesley, in the European Psalmist, 1872 & 'Lowell' by H. Ernest Nichol, 1905
Mary D. James wrote "All For Jesus" as a New Year's resolution. This text is one of two commonly used for this hymn, the other being by William J. Sparrow-Simpson.
Based on verses written in the early Middle Ages. The Latin original, "Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, rex Christe redemptor" was 78 lines long. It was written as a processional hymn. St. Theodulph of Orleans wrote "All Glory, Laud and Honor" in 820 while he was in prison, under suspicion of plotting against Emperor Louis I.
Words: Edward Perronet. The first stanza appeared anonymously in The Gospel Magazine, November 1779. In April 1780, the same magazine published eight verses titled, “On the Resurrection, the Lord Is King.” It resurfaced half a dozen years later, again anonymously, accompanied by an acrostic poem whose letters spelled out “Edward Perronet.” Music: “Coronation,” Oliver Holden; first appeared in his Union Harmony or Universal Collection of Sacred Music (Boston, Massachusetts: 1793).
Lyrics by Alexander. The piece can be sung to several melodies, in particular the 17th Century English melody "Royal Oak", adapted by Martin Shaw, and "Bright and Beautiful" by William Henry Monk (1823-1889). There have also been other adaptations, such as a full choral piece by John Rutter.
Vincent Stuckey Stratton Coles wrote the lyrics.
As with other hymns of this period, the words were sung to a number of tunes before and after they first became linked to the now familiar variant of the tune "New Britain" of which the composer is unknown and which is in William Walker's shape-note tunebook Southern Harmony, 1835
"And Can It Be" was first published in John Wesley's Psalms and Hymns in 1738, then in Hymns and Sacred Poems in 1739. From middle of the nineteenth century on, "And Can It Be" has been set to SAGINA composed by Thomas Campbell
Lyrics by St. Ambrose, translated from the Office hymn for Compline by J. M. Neale
The lyrics were both written and translated prior to Sibelius's piece. Katharina von Schlegel wrote the original text in 1752, and it was translated into English by Jane Borthwick in 1855.
The tune is still from an old Irish folk song. "Be Thou My Vision" is the most popular Irish hymn in English-speaking churches.
Fanny J. Crosby, a blind hymn writer, wrote the words of "Blessed Assurance" in 1873 to go along with the melody written by Phoebe P. Knapp in the same year. The story goes that Crosby was visiting Knapp, who was having a pipe organ installed. Knapp played the tune, which she called "Assurance," and asked her friend Crosby what she thought the song said. Crosby's response was "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine." The rest is history.
Originally a poem by Keble. Melody by William Henry Havergal, 1793–1870 from a chorale by Johann Balthasar König. Sometimes titled "Blessed are the Pure in Heart"
Words: Michael Weisse translated by Catherine Winkworth. Music: Würtemburg - attributed to Johann Rosenmüller
Lyra Davidica wrote the music in 1708. Charles Wesley wrote this hymn in 1739, in celebration of the first service of London's first Wesleyan Chapel.
Lyrics by Stone, music by Wesley.
The text of this great hymn is a composite or combination by two different authors, both of whom were inspired by Revelation 19:12. The first printing was a six-stanza hymn in Hymns of the Heart (1851) by Matthew Bridges. In 1874, Godfrey Thring wrote six new stanzas for the hymn.
This short anthem is taken from a longer work for chorus and organ, Crucifixus pro nobis. The words by Phineas Fletcher are often used as a hymn, set to Gibbons' Song 46.
"Eternal Father, Strong to Save" is known as "The Navy Hymn." At the beginning of the twentieth century, it was played on most ships each day they were at sea. During World War II, it was used at the funeral for almost all sailors buried at sea.
Lyrics by Appleford, music by Beaumont
Words & Music, Terry Coelho
Music by Pierpoint, music by Kocher
Words: H. F. Lyte (19th C) Music: Heathlands H. Smart (19th C)
The occasion for the writing of God of our Fathers was the centennial of the Declaration of Independence in 1876. Daniel C. Roberts, the 35 year-old rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, a small rural church in Brandon, Vermont, wanted a new hymn for his congregation to celebrate the centennial. He wrote "God of Our Fathers" and his congregation sang it to the tune RUSSIAN HYMN. Warren wrote a new tune for it, NATIONAL HYMN.
Lyrics by Williams. Music by Hughes
Written by Charles Wesley, brother of John Wesley founder of the Methodist church, in 1739. A sombre man, he requested slow and solemn music for his lyrics and thus “Hark the herald angels sing” was sung to a different tune initially. Over a hundred years later Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) composed a cantata in 1840 to commemorate Johann Gutenberg's invention of the printing press. English musician William H. Cummings adapted Mendelssohn’s music to fit the lyrics of “Hark the herald angels sing” already written by Wesley.
Translated from En clara vox redarguit, which is a 5th or 6th century hymn whose author is unknown. It was revised in the 1632 Roman Breviary, and the English translation found above was done by Fr. E. Caswall, 1695. Music: Descant to 'Merton' (Hark! a herald voice is calling) (E major) (2008) by W. H. Monk
Lyrics by Gilmore, music by Bradbury
Lyrics by Bonar, music by Dearle, Tune Name: PENITENTIA. Alternate tunes: Congleton, attributed to Michael Wise in The Standard Psalm Tune-Book, 1852; Ellers, Edward J. Hopkins, in the Supplemental tune-Book, by Brown-Borthwick, 1869; Erfyniad, Welsh hymn melody, harmonized by David Evans, 1920.
Written for use on Trinity Sunday, the lyrics were set to a tune composed for the lyrics by John Bacchus Dykes. The tune was originally called Nicaea, which refers to the Nicaean Council of 325 A.D.
Lyrics by Newton, music by Reinagle.
Wrote lyrics and music. Pseudonym: A. A. Payn and C. Austin Miles (1868-1946). Miles attended the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1892, he abandoned his career as a pharmacist and wrote his first Gospel song, “List ’Tis Jesus’ Voice” which was published by the Hall-Mack Company.
Lyrics by Spafford, music by Bliss
Words to stanzas 1-7 by Wesley. Stanzas 8-10, author unknown, 14th Century; translated from Latin to English in Lyra Davidica. EASTER HYMN, the hymn tune to which we sing "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" was published anonymously in Lyra Davidica, 1708. This exuberant song is one of the most popular Easter hymns in the English language.
The words were written by Bernard of Clairvauxin the 12th C. (Jesu dulcis memoria) and translated from Latin to English by Ray Palmer, 1858, in his Poetical Works (New York: 1876).
Watts based "Joy to the World" on the last half of Psalm 98
Lyrics by Kitchin, music by Nicholson
Lyrics by Havergal, music by Mountain
The Lord's My Shepherd, I'll Not Want" first appeared in print in the Scottish Psalter of 1650. This Psalter was assembled by the Westminster Assembly, which also gave us the Westminster Confession and the Book of Common Prayer. In it, portions from various sources were combined to create the hymn we know today. The music 'Crimond' was written by Jessie S. Irvine in 1871.
Make Me a Captive, Lord" lists a series of paradoxes. George Matheson wrote it as an interpretation of Ephesians 3:1, where Paul speaks of being the prisoner of Jesus Christ. Originally titled "Christian Freedom," the hymn lists a series of paradoxes.
Wrote the lyrics and music.
Lyrics by Lowry. Composer: Unknown - Traditional Tyrolean melody arranged by Richard M. S. Irwin
The lyrics were written by a 16 year old boy, William Ralph Featherston, at the time of his conversion to Jesus Christ. He sent a copy to his aunt who encouraged him to have it published. It appeared anonymously in The London Hymn Book in 1864.
Rinkart was a prolific hymn writer. The exact date of "Now Thank We All Our God" is in question, but it is known that it was widely sung by the time the Treaty of Westphalia was signed in 1648. It was commonly sung as a grace following meals.
The original four verses of "O Come All Ye Faithful" were discovered in an eighteenth century Jacobean manuscript with John Francis Wade's signature. At one time historians believed that Wade had simply discovered an ancient hymn by an unknown author, possibly St. Bonaventura, 13th C Italian scholar. Further examination, however, has led many to believe that Wade wrote both the words and music of this hymn himself. The music 'Adeste Fideles', is attributed variously to John Wade, John Stainer, John Reading, or Simao Portogallo
Lyrics by Francis, music by Williams
Isaac Watts wrote "Our God, Our Help in Ages Past" as a paraphrase of Psalm 90.
Written in 1912 in Albion, Mich., "The Old Rugged Cross" is certainly one of the most popular hymns of all time. Apart from "Amazing Grace," it may be the most recorded hymn ever. Performers known to sing "The Old Rugged Cross" include Al Green, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and June Carter.
Baring-Gould wrote about this hymn: "One Whit-Monday, thirty years ago, it was arranged that our school should join forces with that of a neighboring village. I wanted the children to sing when marching from one village to another, but couldn’t think of anything quite suitable; so I sat up at night, resolved that I would write something myself. “Onward, Christian Soldiers” was the result."
Music by Hans Hassler. 'O Sacred Head, Now Wounded' is based on a long medieval poem attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux, 'Salve mundi salutare'.
Lyrics by Lyte, music by Goss
Lyrics: Dudley-Smith. Music: A Purple Robe by David Wilson.
Lyrics by Wesley, music by Darwall. We sing "Rejoice, the Lord Is King" to the hymn tune Darwall’s 148th. An alternate hymn tune, Gopsal, was composed by G. F. Handel for the hymn.
Reverend Augustus Montague Toplady wrote the words to the popular hymn "Rock of Ages" in 1873. His poem was set to music by the popular hymn composer Thomas Hastings somewhere around 1830.
Wrote both the lyrics and the music.
Music by Bradbury. We do not know for sure who wrote "Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us." It was unsigned when it first appeared in Dorothy Thrupp's collection, Hymns for the Young, in 1836. It was the custom of Miss Thrupp to not sign her hymns or poems, usually initialing them D.A.T. or using a pseudonym, Iota. However, this one had neither. She may have forgotten to initial it, or else it came from a different source.
Wrote the lyrics and music.
Originally written as a poem by Mohr in 1816. Two years later he asked Gruber to write the music for it.
Charles Wesley wrote "Soldiers of Christ, Arise" in 1747, originally calling it "The Whole Armor of God, Ephesians VI." The music DIADEMATA was written by Elvey in 1868.
Originally a poem by Clare. Music possibly by B. J. Dale
Edmond L. Budry wrote "A Toi la Gloire," "Thine Be the Glory," in 1884, reportedly after the death of his first wife, Marie de Vayenborg. It was first published in Chants Evangeliques in Lausanne, Switzerland, 1885. It was translated into English in 1925 by Richard B. Hoyle, and appeared in Cantate Domino Hymnal, 1925, the hymnal of the World Student Christian Federation. It is possible that an Advent hymn by Friedrich-Heinrich Ranke (1798-1876), using the same tune by Handel, and published in Evangelisches Gesangbuch fur Elsass-Lothringern, could have been the basis for "Thine Be the Glory."
Franklin L. Sheppard, a friend of Babcock's, composed the hymn melody, Terra Beata, after Babcock's death.
English hymn text writer, Bryan Jeffery Leech, took the primary theme from Johannes Brahms' 1st Symphony, 4th movement and wrote lyrics which have become a hymn standard.
Lee originally composed EASTVIEW for the text "Rejoice, the Lord Is King" for his mother's eightieth birthday. Alternatively sung to John Darwel''s 148th.
Lyrics by E. Margaret Clarkson. Music: Darwall's 148th. Alternatively is sung to 'Eastview' by James Lee.
Originally a poem written by Joseph M. Scriven in 1855. He wrote the poem to comfort his mother in Ireland while he was living in Canada
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