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St Oswald's

The parish church of Bollington

Bollington Road, Bollington Cross, SK10 5EG
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Sing-Along Hymns

Revd Henry Francis Lyte (1793–1847)

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He was born in Kelso, Scotland. He was sent to school in Ulster; his father deserted the family and his mother died in London. The headmaster at his school, recognised Henry Lyte’s ability, paid the boy’s fees, and effectively adopted him. After studying at Trinity College, Dublin, Lyte was ordained in 1815.

He moved to the parish of Brixham, Devon in 1824, but by the 1840s he was spending more and more time in France and Italy, seeking respite in warmer climes from the respiratory diseases from which he had suffered for most of his life. He died in Nice.

He wrote many hymns, including God of mercy, God of grace as well as the two provided here.

Some verses of the two hymns are not sung these days; the missing verses are shown below

Abide with me

A hymn that is familiar even to those who would not dream of attending a Cup Final. It was written during the last few months before he died. Verses 3-5 of the original hymn are not included in modern hymnals, but add poignancy as the words of a person aware that they are approaching the end of their earthly life.

Although Eventide is William Henry Monk's best-known tune, it is said that he composed the tune in just 10 minutes; apparently discovering that there was no suitable tune available during a Hymns Ancient and Modern editorial committee meeting.

[1] Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide!
When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

[2] Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

[6] I need Thy presence every passing hour;
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

[7] I fear no foe with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

[8] Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Eventide

[3] Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word,
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

[4] Come not in terror, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings;
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea.
Come, Friend of sinners, thus abide with me.

[5] Thou on my head in early youth didst smile,
And though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee.
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven

The words are based on Psalm 103. The original fourth verse isn’t found in modern hymnals, although it did appear in the 1917 edition of the Methodist Hymn Book.

The tune Lauda anima (Praise my soul) was composed by Sir John Goss.

[1] Praise, my soul, the King of heaven,
to his feet thy tribute bring;
ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
who, like me, his praise should sing?
Praise him, praise him, praise him, praise him,
praise the everlasting King.

[2] Praise him for his grace and favour
to our fathers in distress;
praise him still the same forever,
slow to chide, and swift to bless.
Praise him, praise him, praise him, praise him,
glorious in his faithfulness.

[3] Father-like he tends and spares us;
well our feeble frame he knows;
in his hands he gently bears us,
rescues us from all our foes.
Praise him, praise him, praise him, praise him,
widely as his mercy flows.

[5] Angels, help us to adore him;
ye behold him face to face;
sun and moon, bow down before him,
dwellers all in time and space.
Praise him, praise him, praise him, praise him,
praise with us the God of grace.

Lauda anima

[4] Frail as summer’s flower we flourish,
blows the wind and it is gone;
but while mortals rise and perish,
God endures unchanging on.
Praise him, praise him, praise him, praise him,
praise the High Eternal One.

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: 20 March 2021