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St Oswald's

The parish church of Bollington

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



Sing-Along Hymns

Bishop Thomas Ken (1637-1711)

He was Bishop of Bath and Wells from 1685 to 1691. He was of independent mind and had a few run-ins with various monarchs, as a result of which he lost his bishopric.

He is commemorated in the Liturgical Calendar of the Church of England on 8 June.

He wrote a number of hymns - these are the best-known today. They are all in Long Metre, meaning that each line has eight beats, so any of the tunes would fit any of the hymns.

Also, having all the lines of each verse the same length means that hymns can be sung to a tune that is a canon ("round") in which a number of voices can start the tune at different points in turn. A famous canon tune is provided for one of the hymns.


Awake, my soul, and with the sun

There are many variations of the text, some with as many as eleven verses. The version printed here appears in the New English Hymnal.

The tune Morning Hymn was written for this hymn by François-Hippolyte Barthélémon (1741-1808) at the request of Jacob Duche, chaplain at the Female Orphan Asylum in London. Words and tune appeared together in A Supplement to the Hymns and Psalms Used at the Asylum or House of Refuge for Female Orphans published in the late 1780s.

Born in France, the violinist and composer Barthélémon spent most of his adult life in England.

Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run;
Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise
To pay thy morning sacrifice.

Redeem thy mis-spent time that's past,
Live this day as if 'twere thy last:
Improve thy talent with due care;
For the great day thyself prepare.

Let all thy converse be sincere,
Thy conscience as the noon-day clear;
Think how the all-seeing God thy ways
And all thy secret thoughts surveys.

Awake, awake, ye heavenly choir,
May your devotion me inspire,
That I like you my age may spend,
Like you may on my God attend.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,
Praise him, all creatures here below,
Praise him above, ye heavenly host,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Morning Hymn

Glory to thee, who safe hast kept

Another Morning hymn. The version printed here appears in the New English Hymnal.

The 20th-century tune St Benet is by The 20th-century tune St Benet is by Cedric Borgnis (born 1909). It appears to be his only hymn tune to be published. A man of this name was assistant organist at Eton College Chapel for a BBC broadcast of Choral Evensong on 17 June 1952. This is probably Duncan Cedric Hammond-Chamber-Borgnis (1909-1991), who was a master at Radley School.

Glory to thee, who safe hast kept,
And hast refreshed me whilst I slept;
Grant, Lord, when I from death shall wake,
I may of endless light partake.

Wake, and lift up thyself, my heart,
And with the angels bear thy part,
Who all night long unwearied sing
High praise to the eternal King

Lord, I my vows to thee renew;
Scatter my sins as morning dew;
Guard my first springs of thought and will,
And with thyself my spirit fill.

Direct, control, suggest, this day,
All I design, or do, or say;
That all my powers, with all their might,
In thy sole glory may unite.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

St Benet

Glory to thee, my God, this night

A hymn to end the day. You might need a rest after singing the canon!

Tallis’s canon was written by Thomas Tallis. In this arrangement, the first verse is sung in normal harmony. The second verse starts the canon, in which a second voice starts the first line of the tune when the first voice starts the second line of the tune. And so on. The canon resolves during the final verse.

Glory to thee, my God, this night,
for all the blessings of the light:
keep me, O keep me, King of kings,
beneath thine own almighty wings.

Forgive me, Lord, for thy dear Son,
the ill that I this day have done;
that with the world, myself, and thee,
I, ere I sleep, at peace may be.

Teach me to live, that I may dread
the grave as little as my bed;
teach me to die, that so I may
rise glorious at the aweful day.

O may my soul on thee repose,
and with sweet sleep mine eyelids close;
sleep that shall me more vigorous make
to serve my God when I awake.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
praise him, all creatures here below;
praise him above, ye heavenly host:
praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Tallis’s canon

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