Category Archives: Historic hymnody

A Mighty Fortress in translation

More a bookmark for me here than anything else: An excellent parsing exercise at Desiring God compares the original German text of “A Mighty Fortress” to the common English translation and finds the translation lacking at several points. John Piper … Continue reading

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Methodist Hymn Histories and Studies

And a lot of them! See here. Here’s an example of one of their “hymn studies”: “Jesus Paid It All” Hymn Study by Dean McIntyre TITLE: “Jesus Paid It All” AUTHOR: Elvina M. Hall TUNE: ALL TO CHRIST COMPOSER: John … Continue reading

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“In Thy arms I rest me; Foes who would…”

Johann Franck published “Jesu, meine Freude” in 1653; Catherine Winkworth served the English-speaking world by translating it as “Jesu, priceless treasure” in her 1863 The Chorale Book for England. In this translation, she rendered the second verse as: In Thine arm I … Continue reading

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“If Thou but Suffer God to Guide Thee”

John Piper recently (12/21/16) highlighted one of his favorite hymns in a regular podcast of his: Georg Neumark’s “Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten,” written in 1641 or 1642, first published in 1657, appropriated by Bach for a number … Continue reading

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In Joyful Noise, William Smith speaks of the “practical limits of the repertory” of a congregation. There are, he suggests (rightly!), only so many songs that a congregation can be expected to know reasonably well. In this connection, he notes, … Continue reading

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“A good hymn should have…”

Of historical interest: from the preface to his hymnal, here is the 19th-century description of “a good hymn” by Roundell Palmer (the first Earl of Selbourne): A good hymn should have simplicity, freshness, and reality of feeling; a consistent elevation of tone, … Continue reading

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Old and New

Here’s a good word from John Cargill: There are several other problems among Christian Congregations, which adversely affect collective praise to the Godhead and two of these are very subtle. First, there are those who discard good old hymns, because … Continue reading

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