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St Oswald's

The parish church of Bollington

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



Sing-Along Hymns

Dr Donald Davison MBE (1937-2013)

Dr Donald Davison MBE was the organist of St John’s, Malone for 36 years and Belfast city organist for over 20 years. He was the Musical Editor of the 5th Edition of the (Church of Ireland) Church Hymnal – he was by far its largest contributor of tunes, arrangements and descants. We have used some tunes, descants and arrangements in this collection, written by him but probably not familiar to many congregations on this side of the Irish sea.

Here we have a hymn tune written by him, a musical arrangement by him, and a descant by him.

He also wrote the tune Amplitudo There’s a wideness in God’s mercy
and descants for
Crimond The Lord’s my shepherd
Duke Street Fight the good fight
Harewood Christ is our cornerstone
Redhead No 46 Bright the vision that delighted
Song 34 Forth in thy name, O Lord I go
Was lebet, was schwebet O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness
Winchester New On Jordan’s banks the Baptist’s cry.

I leave all things to God’s direction

The words of the Lutheran hymn Ich halte Gott in allem stille were written by Salamo Franck (1659-1725). He was a librettist who worked extensively with Johann Sebastian Bach. The translation was by August Crull (1845-1923), a German-born Lutheran Pastor in USA who translated many hymns for Lutheran hymnals.

The tune Guidance was written by Donald Davison for another German text Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten, translated by Catherine Winkworth as If thou but suffer God to guide thee. But this hymn has more cheerful words!

I leave all things to God’s direction,
He loveth me in weal and woe;
His will is good, true His affection,
With tender love His heart doth glow.
My Fortress and my Rock is He:
What pleaseth God, that pleaseth me.

My God hath all things in His keeping,
He is the ever faithful Friend;
He grants me laughter after weeping,
And all His ways in blessings end.
His love endures eternally;
What pleaseth God, that pleaseth me.

The will of God shall be my pleasure
While here on earth is mine abode;
My will is wrong beyond all measure,
It doth not will what pleaseth God.
The Christian’s motto e’er must be;
What pleaseth God, that pleaseth me.

God knows what must be done to save me,
His love for me will never cease;
Upon His hands He did engrave me
With purest gold of living grace.
His will supreme must e’er be:
What pleaseth God, that pleaseth me.

My God desires the soul’s salvation,
Me also He desires to save;
Therefore with Christian resignation
All earthly troubles I will brave.
His will be done eternally:
What pleaseth God, that pleaseth me.



August Crull

Glory to God! The morn appointed breaks

This Easter hymn was published in Hymns from the Morningland (being translations, centos and suggestions from the service books of the Holy Eastern Church) in 1911. This book was produced by Revd John Brownlie (1857-1925) and the full text can be found on Project Gutenberg. John Brownlie was a minister in the Presbytery of Glasgow (Church of Scotland), and is best known for his translations of early Greek and Latin hymns into English. The original author of the hymn is unknown.

The words are coupled here with Winton by Sir George Dyson (1883-1964). A musician and composer, he was born in Halifax and before WW1 he studied at the Royal College of Music (of which he was made Director in 1938). He wrote five hymn tunes, but they are not often found in hymnals. Winton is a joyful tune, suitable for this Easter hymn and could also be used for Tell out, my soul.

The descant for the last verse is by Donald Davison.

While serving in WW1, Dyson wrote
Notes on the Training & Organization of Grenadiers
Not a tune you could hum.

Glory to God! The morn appointed breaks,
And earth awakes from all the woeful past;
For, with the morn, the Lord of Life awakes,
And sin and death into the grave are cast.

Glory to God! The cross, with all its shame,
Now sheds its glory o’er a ransomed world;
For He who bore the burden of our blame,
With piercèd hands the foe to hell hath hurled.

Glory to God! Sing ransomed souls again,
And let your songs our glorious Victor laud,
Who by His might hath snapped the tyrant’s chain,
And set us free to rise with Him to God.

Darkness and night, farewell! the morn is here;
Welcome! the light that ushers in the day;
Visions of joy before our sight appear,
And, like the clouds, our sorrows melt away.

Great Son of God, Immortal and renowned!
Brighter than morn the glory on Thy brow;
Crowns must be won, and Thou art nobly crowned,
For death is dead, and sin is vanquished now.


Stand up, stand up for Jesus

Ephesians 6.11-15: Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

The words were written by an American Presbyterian pastor, George Duffield V* (1818-1888). He wrote: "I caught its inspiration from the dying words of that noble young clergyman, Rev. Dudley Atkins Tyng, rector of the Epiphany Church, Philadelphia, who died about 1854. His last words were, 'Tell them to stand up for Jesus: now let us sing a hymn.' "

*He was the fifth George Duffield in the family.

The familiar tune Morning Light was written by George James Webb (1803-1887), an English-born American composer. The setting is by Donald Davison. The tune was originally originally set to another hymn, from which it gets its name (see below)

Stand up, stand up for Jesus
ye soldiers of the cross;
lift high His royal banner,
it must not suffer loss:
from victory unto victory
His army He shall lead,
till every foe is vanquished,
and Christ is Lord indeed.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
the trumpet call obey;
forth to the mighty conflict
in this His glorious day:
ye that are men now serve Him
against unnumbered foes;
let courage rise with danger,
and strength to strength oppose.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
stand in His strength alone;
the arm of flesh will fail you,
ye dare not trust your own:
put on the gospel armour,
each piece put on with prayer;
where duty calls, or danger,
be never wanting there.


Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
the strife will not be long;
this day the noise of battle,
the next the victor’s song:
to him that overcometh
a crown of life shall be;
he with the King of glory
shall reign eternally.

Morning Light

The morning light is breaking!
The darkness disappears;
The sons of earth are waking
To penitential tears;
Each breeze that sweeps the ocean
Brings tidings from afar,
Of nations in commotion,
Prepared for Zion’s war.

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: 05 March 2021