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St Oswald's

The parish church of Bollington

Bollington Road, Bollington Cross, SK10 5EG
07895 363 038

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Sing-Along Hymns

Sir John Goss (1800-1880)
Sir Henry Francis Champneys (1848-1930)

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Sir John Goss

As a boy, Goss was a chorister at the Chapel Royal. He was appointed as organist of St Luke’s Chelsea in 1824 at the salary of £100 a year (equivalent to an annual salary of over £90,000 today!). He was the organist of St Paul’s Cathedral from 1838 to 1872. Pupils of his included Sir Arthur Sullivan and Sir John Stainer.

He composed the tune Lauda anima for Praise, my soul, the King of heaven.

Champneys was the son of a Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral who later became Dean of Lichfield. He was an amateur musician who studied under John Goss and held various musical positions from 1880 to 1913.

See amid the winter’s snow

The words were written by Revd Edward Caswall. The carol was first published as a poem in 1858.

The tune Humility was written in 1871 especially for this carol by Sir John Goss.

(In this arrangement there is a two-bar introduction before the first and last verses)

See amid the winter’s snow,
born for us on earth below;
see the tender Lamb appears,
promised from eternal years.
Hail! Thou ever-blessed morn!
Hail, redemption’s happy dawn!
Sing through all Jerusalem,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem.”

Lo, within a manger lies
He who built the starry skies;
He, who throned in height sublime,
sits amid the cherubim!
Hail! Thou ever-blessed morn!
Hail, redemption’s happy dawn!
Sing through all Jerusalem,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem.”

Say, ye holy shepherds, say
what your joyful news today;
wherefore have ye left your sheep
on the lonely mountain steep?
Hail! Thou ever-blessed morn!
Hail, redemption’s happy dawn!
Sing through all Jerusalem,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem.”

“As we watched at dead of night,
lo, we saw a wondrous light;
angels singing ‘Peace on earth’
told us of the Saviour’s birth.”
Hail! Thou ever-blessed morn!
Hail, redemption’s happy dawn!
Sing through all Jerusalem,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem.”

Sacred Infant, all divine,
what a tender love was Thine;
thus to come from highest bliss
down to such a world as this!
Hail! Thou ever-blessed morn!
Hail, redemption’s happy dawn!
Sing through all Jerusalem,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem.”

Teach, O teach us, Holy Child,
by Thy face so meek and mild,
teach us to resemble Thee,
in Thy sweet humility!
Hail! Thou ever-blessed morn!
Hail, redemption’s happy dawn!
Sing through all Jerusalem,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem.”

Humility

Hail to the Lord who comes

This hymn for Candlemas was written by Revd John Ellerton, whose best-remembered hymn is The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended.

The feast of The Presentation of Christ in the Temple (which used to be called The Purification of St Mary the Virgin) recalls the story of Jesus being brought to the Temple 40 days after his birth to complete Mary’s ritual purification after childbirth, and to perform the redemption of the firstborn son, in obedience to Jewish law.

The tune St Veronica was composed by Sir Henry Francis Champneys who was (appropriately for a feast celebrating childbirth) an eminent obstetrician and chaired the Central Midwives’ Board from 1903 to 1930.

Saint Veronica is commemorated in the Roman Catholic Church on 12 July, but does not seem to appear in the Church of England Calendar.
Well, not yet, anyway.

Hail to the Lord who comes,
comes to his temple gate!
Not with his angel host,
not in his kingly state:
no shouts proclaim him nigh,
no crowds his coming wait.

But borne upon the throne
of Mary’s gentle breast,
watched by her duteous love,
in her fond arms at rest;
thus to his Father’s house
he comes, the heavenly guest.

There Joseph at her side
in reverent wonder stands;
and, filled with holy joy,
old Simeon in his hands
takes up the promised child,
the glory of all lands.

Hail to the great First-born,
whose ransom-price they pay!
The Son before all worlds,
the child of man to-day,
that he might ransom us
who still in bondage lay.

O Light of all the earth,
thy children wait for thee!
Come to thy temples here,
that we, from sin set free,
before thy Father’s face
may all presented be.

St Veronica

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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