William Henry Havergal was born in High Wycombe. He was ordained deacon in 1816 and priest in 1817, and became rector of Astley in Worcestershire in 1829, St. Nicholas, Worcester in 1842, and perpetual curate of Shareshill near Wolverhampton in 1860. He died at Leamington Spa.
On 14 June 1829 he was thrown out of a carriage and received concussion of the brain, which disabled him for some years.
He wrote a number of hymn tunes, including Narenza Ye servants of the Lord
His daughter Frances was partly educated in Germany. In 1852/3, she studied in the Louisenschule, Düsseldorf, and at Oberkassel. Her studies included several modern languages, together with Greek and Hebrew. On her return to England, she was confirmed in Worcester Cathedral, 17 July 1853.
She wrote over fifty hymns, but most have fallen out of fashion. They include "Golden harps are sounding", "I gave my life for thee", "Jesus, Master, Whose I am,” “Lord, speak to me,” “O Master, at Thy feet,” and “Tell it out among the heathen".
Father and daughter are buried side by side at Astley, Worcestershire.
The words were published in 1736. They were written in Latin by Charles Coffin.
The first three verses were translated by John Chandler, who also translated Christ is our corner-stone. The translator of the other verses is unknown.
The tune Winchester New was adapted by Revd William Henry Havergal from a tune in Musikalisches Hand-Buch (published in Hamburg in 1690).
The descant provided here is by Donald Davison.
On Jordan’s banks the Baptist’s cry
announces that the Lord is nigh:
come then and hearken, for he brings
glad tidings from the King of kings.
Then cleansed be every breast from sin,
make straight the way for God within,
and let us all our hearts prepare
for Christ to come and enter there.
For Thou art our salvation, Lord,
our Refuge and our great Reward.
without Thy grace our life must fade,
and wither like a flower decayed.
Stretch forth Thy hand, to health restore,
and make us rise, to fall no more:
once more upon Thy people shine,
and fill the world with love divine.
To Him who left the throne of heaven
to save mankind, all praise be given:
like praise be to the Father done,
and Holy Spirit Three in One.
The words were written by Frances Ridley Havergal
The tune Bullinger is named after its composer Revd Ethelbert William Bullinger (1837-1913). He resigned as an Anglican parish priest in 1888. He held a number of controversial views, for example, rejecting the theory of evolution, supporting those who believed that the earth was flat, and arguing that Jesus died on a Wednesday.
I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
Trusting only Thee;
Trusting Thee for full salvation,
Great and free.
I am trusting Thee for pardon;
At Thy feet I bow,
For Thy grace and tender mercy
I am trusting Thee for cleansing
In the crimson flood;
Trusting Thee to make me holy
By Thy blood.
I am trusting Thee to guide me;
Thou alone shalt lead,
Every day and hour supplying
All my need.
I am trusting Thee for power;
Thine can never fail.
Words which Thou Thyself shalt give me
I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus;
Never let me fall.
I am trusting Thee forever
And for all.
This is the best-known hymn by Frances Ridley Havergal.
The tune Nottingham is a melody by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), apparently arranged by his Austrian contemporary Wenzel Müller (1767–1835) – who is regarded as the most prolific opera composer of all time with his 166 operas.
Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love:
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne:
Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store;
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.
For each hymn we have provided a set of verses together with an electronically generated sound-track. The sound track does not provide any words - just the tune.
The selection of hymns to be included was subject to certain limitations, notably the restrictions of copyright. This meant that many modern hymns were excluded, and the exclusion even applied to some updated versions of traditional hymns. Some publishers have made a few minor changes to make hymns more "inclusive" and have then claimed copyright over the revised text. So in most cases the ORIGINAL texts have been used, even though these may not be the versions that appear in modern hymnals.
In deciding what tunes to be used, this has largely been the Webmaster's personal choice. It is a mixture of familiar tunes and tunes that are not well-known, but deserve to be better known. The webmaster has included some personal favourites (and excluded some pet hates!). The soundtracks provided go with the words provided - if there are four verses, the tune is repeated four times. Where possible tunes have been provided with descants or alternative arrangements.
Wherever possible, there is an explanation of who wrote the words or tunes, the circumstances under which they were written, when (and sometimes why). Many hymns include references to verses appearing in the King James Version of the Bible; more modern translations were not then available! In some cases we have tried to explain these scriptural references or other instances where words have changed their meaning over time.
This selection of "Sing-along Songs of Praise" was originally a series of blog posts written during the COVID Lockdowns of 2020. It was intended to allow people to sing hymns in the safety and privacy of their own homes at a time when hymn-singing in church was not allowed (even if the church building was open!).
When hymns are sung as part of a church service, it is normally the case that the hymn books are set aside at the end of the hymn and the next part of the service continues. There is no time to sit and reflect on the meaning or the beauty of words and/or music. This collection allows you to take your time, to read, listen sing along, reflect, and to repeat a hymn again if you wish.
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"A joyful image of a Eucharistic community which knows how to celebrate God's goodness to us but also how to reach out to the community and connect with those in need, in pain, in difficulty, who feel lost or neglected, or that they don't belong."
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