Category Archives: Hymn writing

“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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Tempo

I’ve always wrestled with “keeping the tempo up” in my congregational songleading.  I tend toward a broader tempo than average, and my pastor will with all sensitivity ask on occasion, “Was it just me, or did the songs seem to … 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 Language

“Admiration for the new and the innovative may not only affect our estimate of the value of these ancient hymns [found in Luke’s infancy narratives], it may also lead us to value only the new in the hymns and prayers … Continue reading

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Wesley’s Economy of Language

I wrote awhile back on the economy in language in Charles Wesley’s hymns.  I recently came across a similar idea in his brother John’s words regarding prose: “I write for those who judge of books, not by the quantity, but … Continue reading

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Historical nonspecificity in hymns

As I’m working through Dillard and Longman’s Introduction to the Old Testament, I find a discussion about the psalms.  The vast majority of psalms are “historically nonspecific”, that is, they do not in the text of the psalm detail the … Continue reading

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Hymn-writing and Economy of Language

I recently was introduced to Chuck King’s blog Te decet hymnus, and as I trolled several older posts, I came across this one that resonated with some thinking I’ve been doing about hymnwriting.  In a word, he ponders the significance … Continue reading

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