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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

Revd Edwin Hatch (1835-1889)
Revd Henry Montagu Butler (1833-1918)

portrait

Edwin Hatch

Two hymns on the theme of refreshment and renewal.

Edwin Hatch was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1859 and went to Quebec, Canada until 1867. He was appointed Rector of Purleigh (St Albans Diocese) in 1883. Most of his ordained life was connected with Universities (Quebec and Oxford).

In this picture he seems to have the Breath of God in his hair!

- - -

Henry Montagu Butler was ordained in 1859 and became Head Master of Harrow School (his father had previously held this post). He was made Dean of Gloucester in 1885 for a short time; he became Master of Trinity College Cambridge in 1886.

Breathe on me, Breath of God

The words were written by Revd Edwin Hatch.

The tune Trentham was written by Robert Jackson (1840-1914). He wrote a number of hymn tunes, but this is the only one in frequent use these days. He was the organist at St Peter’s, Oldham from 1868 to 1914. (His father had been the organist there for 48 years.)

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
fill me with life anew,
that I may love what thou dost love
and do what thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, Breath of God
until my heart is pure,
until my will is one with thine,
to do and to endure.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
’til I am wholly thine,
until this earthly part of me
glows with thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
so shall I never die,
but live with thee the perfect life
of thine eternity.

Trentham

Lift up your hearts!

The words were written by Revd Henry Montagu Butler.

The hymn is usually sung these days to the tune Woodlands (the tune for Tell out, my soul), but here it is coupled with The supreme sacrifice (the tune for O valiant hearts - the words of this hymn are still in copright). This tune was written by Revd Charles Harris (1865-1936)

‘Lift up your hearts!’ We lift them, Lord, to thee;
here at thy feet none other may we see:
‘lift up your hearts!’ E’en so, with one accord,
we lift them up, we lift them to the Lord.

Above the level of the former years,
the mire of sin, the slough of guilty fears,
the mist of doubt, the blight of love’s decay,
O Lord of light, lift all our hearts to-day.

Above the swamps of subterfuge and shame,
the deeds, the thoughts, that honour may not name,
the halting tongue that dares not tell the whole,
O Lord of truth, lift every Christian soul.

Lift every gift that thou thyself hast given:
low lies the best till lifted up to heaven;
low lie the bounding heart, the teeming brain,
till, sent from God, they mount to God again.

Then, as the trumpet-call in after years,
‘Lift up your hearts!’ rings pealing in our ears,
still shall those hearts respond with full accord,
‘We lift them up, we lift them to the Lord!’

The supreme sacrifice

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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We do NOT receive any financial support from the Government, the Diocese, or the Church Commissioners.

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Last modified: 03 March 2021