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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

Johann Crüger (1598-1662)

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He was appointed as (Lutheran) cantor at the St Nicholas church at Berlin in 1622 (a post he held for the rest of his life) and published much church music. Many of his tunes are still in use today, including Nun danket Now thank we all Our God.

Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness

The German hymn was written by Johann Franck (1618-1677) and translated by Catherine Winkworth.

The hauntingly beautiful chorale tune Schmücke dich is from 1649. It was written by Johann Crüger

Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness,
Leave the gloomy haunts of sadness,
Come into the daylight’s splendour,
There with joy thy praises render
Unto him whose grace unbounded
Hath this wondrous banquet founded;
High o’er all the heavens he reigneth,
Yet to dwell with thee he deigneth.

Now I sink before thee lowly,
Filled with joy most deep and holy,
As with trembling awe and wonder
On thy mighty works I ponder;
How, by mystery surrounded,
Depths no man hath ever sounded,
None may dare to pierce unbidden
Secrets that with thee are hidden.

Sun, who all my life dost brighten;
Light, who dost my soul enlighten;
Joy, the sweetest man e’er knoweth;
Fount, whence all my being floweth;
At thy feet I cry, my Maker,
Let me be a fit partaker
Of this blessed food from heaven,
For our good, thy glory, given.

Jesus, Bread of Life, I pray thee,
Let me gladly here obey thee;
Never to my hurt invited,
Be thy love with love requited:
From this banquet let me measure,
Lord, how vast and deep its treasure;
Through the gifts thou here dost give me,
As thy guest in heaven receive me.

Schmücke dich

manuscript

from Praxis Pietatis Melica 1653

Hail to the Lord’s Anointed

The words to this hymn were written by James Montgomery The hymn is based on Psalm 72. When the hymn was written in 1821 there were eight verses paraphrasing the psalm fairly accurately. The original verse 3 seems to have been dropped quite early on, probably in the 19th century. The original verse 5 is usually omitted these post-imperial days, and the original verses 6 and 7 have been shortened and combined into one stanza. The missing text is shown below.

The original melody was written by Johann Crüger and named Crüger after him. It appeared in his publication Neues vollkomliches Gesangbuch of 1640. It was adapted by W H Monk.

[1] Hail to the Lord’s Anointed!
great David’s greater Son;
Hail, in the time appointed,
His reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression,
to set the captive free;
to take away transgression,
and rule in equity.

[2] He comes with succour speedy
to those who suffer wrong;
to help the poor and needy,
and bid the weak be strong;
to give them songs for sighing,
their darkness turn to light,
whose souls, condemned and dying,
were precious in His sight.

[4] He shall come down like showers
upon the fruitful earth,
and love, joy, hope, like flowers,
spring in His path to birth:
before Him on the mountains
shall peace, the herald, go;
and righteousness in fountains
from hill to valley flow.

[6-7] Kings shall fall down before Him,
and gold and incense bring;
all nations shall adore Him,
His praise all people sing;
to him shall prayer unceasing
and daily vows ascend;
His kingdom still increasing,
a kingdom without end.

[8] O’er every foe victorious,
He on His throne shall rest,
from age to age more glorious,
all-blessing and all-blessed:
the tide of time shall never
His covenant remove;
His name shall stand for ever;
that name to us is Love.

Crüger

[3] By such shall He be fearèd
while sun and moon endure;
beloved, obeyed, reverèd;
for He shall judge the poor
through changing generations,
with justice, mercy, truth,
while stars maintain their stations,
or moons renew their youth.

[5] Arabia’s desert ranger
to Him shall bow the knee,
the Ethiopian stranger
His glory come to see;
with offerings of devotion,
ships from the isles shall meet,
to pour the wealth of ocean
in tribute at His feet.

[6] Kings shall fall down before Him,
and gold and incense bring,
all nations shall adore Him,
His praise all people sing;
for He shall have dominion
o’er river, sea, and shore,
far as the eagle’s pinion
or dove’s light wing can soar.

[7] For Him shall pray’r unceasing,
and daily vows ascend;
His kingdom still increasing,
a kingdom without end;
the mountain dews shall nourish
a seed in weakness sown,
whose fruit shall spread and flourish,
and shake like Lebanon.

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: 07 March 2021