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St Oswald's

The parish church of Bollington

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



Sing-Along Hymns

Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)

He was a significant figure in English music and many of his hymn tunes are in regular use today.

He was born in Oxford, was a chorister at King’s College Cambridge and was appointed as a musician of the Chapel Royal in 1603. He was organist at Westminster Abbey from 1623 until his death at Canterbury from apoplexy.

In addition to the tunes on this page, he also wrote Song 1 (And now, O Father, mindful of the love)

The fact that he was hurriedly buried at Canterbury gave rise to the suspicion that he had died of the plague and an autopsy was held to prove that he had indeed died of a cerebral aneurysm.
(The account of the autopsy survives in The National Archives and can be found on Wikipedia.)


Father of Heaven, whose love profound

The words were written by Revd Edward Cooper in 1805. He was a cousin of Jane Austen.

The hymn is often sung to the well-known tune Rievaulx by J B Dykes, but here it is paired with Song 5 by Orlando Gibbons.It was published in Hymns and Songs of the Church in 1623 – the same year that the “first folio” of Shakespeare appeared and exactly 200 years before J B Dykes was born.

Father of heaven, whose love profound
A ransom for our souls hath found,
Before thy throne we sinners bend:
To us thy pardoning love extend.

Almighty Son, incarnate Word,
Our Prophet, Priest, Redeemer, Lord,
Before thy throne we sinners bend:
To us thy saving grace extend.

Eternal Spirit, by whose breath
The soul is raised from sin and death
Before thy throne we sinners bend:
To us thy quickening power extend.

Thrice Holy! Father, Spirit, Son,
Mysterious Godhead, Three in One,
Before thy throne we sinners bend:
Grace, pardon, life to us extend.

In the last line of the tune, there are two notes on the second syllable (eg "us" in verses 1-3).

Song 5

Forth, in thy name, O Lord, I go

The words were written by Charles Wesley in 1830.

The original third verse is omitted from modern hymnals. It is shown below.

The tune is Song 34 by Orlando Gibbons. It was published in Hymns and Songs of the Church in 1623. There is a descant by Donald Davison.

[1] Forth, in thy name, O Lord, I go,
My daily labour to pursue;
Thee, only thee, resolved to know,
In all I think, or speak, or do.

[2] The task thy wisdom hath assigned
O let me cheerfully fulfil;
In all my works thy presence find,
And prove thy good and perfect will.

[4] Thee may I set at my right hand,
Whose eyes mine inmost substance see,
And labour on at thy command,
And offer all my works to thee.

[5] Give me to bear thy easy yoke,
And every moment watch and pray,
And still to things eternal look,
And hasten to thy glorious day;

[6] For thee delightfully employ
Whate’er thy bounteous grace hath given,
And run my course with even joy,
And closely walk with thee to heaven.

Song 34

[3] Preserve me from my calling's snare,
And hide my simple heart above,
Above the thorns of choking care,
The gilded baits of worldly love.

Peace, perfect peace

The words were written by Revd Edward Henry Bickersteth (1825-1906). He was ordained in 1848 and was Vicar of Hampstead from 1855. In 1885 he became Dean of Gloucester and then Bishop of Exeter in the same year until 1900. He edited several hymnals and wrote a number of hymns. Peace, perfect peace is the only one regularly sung these days.

The tune is Song 46 by Orlando Gibbons.

Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.

Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest.

Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows surging round?
On Jesus’ bosom naught but calm is found.

Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away?
In Jesus’ keeping we are safe, and they.

Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown?
Jesus we know, and He is on the throne.

Peace, perfect peace, death shadowing us and ours?
Jesus has vanquished death and all its powers.

It is enough: earth’s struggles soon shall cease,
And Jesus calls us to Heav’n’s perfect peace.

Song 46

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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Last modified: 03 March 2021