Words and Music

Here’s a short quiz, for fun: For each of the following, name the modern-day green-book hymn whose tune was originally associated with these lyrics.

1. To Anacreon in Heav’n, where he sat in full glee,
a few Sons of Harmony sent a petition,
That he their Inspirer and Patron would be;
When this answer arrived from the Jolly Old Grecian

2. How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood
When fond recollection presents them to view
The orchard, the meadow, the deep tangled wildwood,
And ev’ry loved spot which my infancy knew
. . .
And e’en the rude bucket that hung in the well.
The old oaken bucket, the iron bound bucket,
The moss covered bucket that hung in the well.

3. O Columbia! the gem of the ocean,
The home of the brave and the free,
The shrine of each patriot’s devotion,
A world offers homage to thee;

4. O sacred Head, now wounded,
with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded
with thorns, thine only crown:

5. A life on the ocean wave!
A home on the rolling deep!
Where the scattered waters rave,
and the winds their revels keep!

Which ones do you recognize? And which original lyrics to current hymn melodies can you add to the list?

24 comments for “Words and Music

  1. November 15, 2006 at 12:33 am

    To keep the fun going a little longer, I’ll use initials:

    1 – TSSB
    2 – DWIR
    3-4 – ?
    5 – WOTLSW

    “In Our Lovely Deseret” is “In a prison cell I sit, thinking, Mother Dear, of you, and our bright and happy home so far away …”

  2. Mark IV
    November 15, 2006 at 12:39 am

    Hmmm, Ardis. 3 and 4 are the only one I get.

    3 – UAYDoZ
    4 – OSTWWaC

  3. Ann
    November 15, 2006 at 12:44 am

    Hark, when the night is falling
    Hear, hear the pipes are calling
    Loudly and proudly calling
    Down through the Glen.
    There where the hills are sleeping
    Now feel the blood a-leaping
    High as the spirits
    Of the old highland men.

  4. Bill
    November 15, 2006 at 2:30 am

    Giovinetto cavalier,
    di bel giorno al tramontar,
    colla dea de’ suoi pensier
    sooto un salcio s’arrestar.

  5. Bill
    November 15, 2006 at 2:43 am

    Sorry, that last line should be “sotto un salcio s’arrestar.”

    Here’s another one that originally had two texts. Bonus points for someone who knows how two different verse structures fit the same tune:

    Oh my love, how comely now,
    and how beautiful art thou!
    Thou of dovelike eyes a pair,
    shining hast within thy hair:
    and thy locks like kidlings be,
    which from Gilead hill we see.


    Take my life, and let it be
    consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
    take my moments and my days,
    let them flow in ceaseless praise.

  6. Bill
    November 15, 2006 at 7:34 am

    Which hymn originally appeared in a 1752 opera without any words at all, as a gavotte in the eighth pantomime (divertissement or ballet) danced by “la villageoise”?

  7. Mark B.
    November 15, 2006 at 10:57 am

    3 is Up Awake Ye Defenders of Zion, which, thankfully, is never sung. At least not anyplace I’ve ever been.

    4, I suspect, is the chorus from the St. Matthew Passion that Karen Lynn Davidson rewrote as O Savior Thou That Wearest etc.

    There’s a hymn: My Jesus, as Thou Wilt, which appears in the Japanese hymnal as Shu Yo, Mimune ni, which has a tune from the overture to Der Freischutz. Sorry, I don’t know if that tune appears later in the opera set to words.

    And who can forget:

    Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles,
    Uber alles in der Welt.

    Or politically correctly, skipping that verse:

    Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
    fur das Deutsche Vaterland

    (Sorry, my computer doesn’t do umlauts).

  8. jimbob
    November 15, 2006 at 1:50 pm

    “3 is Up Awake Ye Defenders of Zion, which, thankfully, is never sung. At least not anyplace I’ve ever been.”

    Up Awake was my mission hymn. We sang it every week with the politically incorrect words and all. I loved it. “When the God-hating foe is before you…” Man oh man, they don’t write hymns like that anymore.

  9. Mark B.
    November 15, 2006 at 2:26 pm


    I guess I wasn’t in your mission. :-)

    My first mission president really liked “From Greenland’s Icy Mountains”, now called “Come all whose souls are lighted” or something like that. He thought the line about “heathen[s] in [their] blindness bow[ing] down to wood and stone” fit the Japanese.

  10. Bill
    November 15, 2006 at 4:14 pm

    Mark B.,

    Here’s the even more original text to Haydn’s hymn:

    Gott erhalte Franz, den Kaiser,
    Unsern guten Kaiser Franz!
    Lange lebe Franz, der Kaiser,
    In des Glückes hellstem Glanz!
    Ihm erblühen Lorbeerreiser,
    Wo er geht, zum Ehrenkranz!
    |: Gott erhalte Franz, den Kaiser,
    Unsern guten Kaiser Franz! :|

    Also, you will notice that in hymn 268 the less politically correct first verse is hiding as the second verse, and the even-less acceptable second verse left out altogether. Here’s the original poem by Heber:

    From Greenland’s icy mountains, from India’s coral strand;
    Where Afric’s sunny fountains roll down their golden sand:
    From many an ancient river, from many a palmy plain,
    They call us to deliver their land from error’s chain.

    What though the spicy breezes blow soft o’er Ceylon’s isle;
    Though every prospect pleases, and only man is vile?
    In vain with lavish kindness the gifts of God are strown;
    The heathen in his blindness bows down to wood and stone.

    Shall we, whose souls are lighted with wisdom from on high,
    Shall we to those benighted the lamp of life deny?
    Salvation! O salvation! The joyful sound proclaim,
    Till earth’s remotest nation has learned Messiah’s Name.

    Waft, waft, ye winds, His story, and you, ye waters, roll
    Till, like a sea of glory, it spreads from pole to pole:
    Till o’er our ransomed nature the Lamb for sinners slain,
    Redeemer, King, Creator, in bliss returns to reign.

  11. Ivan Wolfe
    November 15, 2006 at 5:05 pm

    Try this one on: (I’ve left out the last line, since that would give it away):

    What’s this that steals upon my frame,
    Is it death? Is it death?
    That soon will quench this vital flame,
    Is it death? Is it death?
    If this be death, I soon shall be
    From ev’ry pain and sorrow free.
    I shall the king of glory see.

  12. Bill
    November 15, 2006 at 6:27 pm

    Ivan, of course, to fit with the music you have to repeat certain words:

    What’s this that steals, that steals upon my frame…

    Going to the following link will give it away, but you can find a recording (no. 15), here.

  13. Hans Hansen
    November 15, 2006 at 6:28 pm

    Response #1. “In Our Lovely Deseret” is “In a prison cell I sit, thinking, Mother Dear, of you, and our bright and happy home so far away …”

    aka “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys Are Marching”

    Response #3. “Hark, when the night is falling
    Hear, hear the pipes are calling
    Loudly and proudly calling
    Down through the Glen.
    There where the hills are sleeping
    Now feel the blood a-leaping
    High as the spirits
    Of the old highland men.”

    “Scotland the Brave”, used for “Praise to the Man”.

  14. November 15, 2006 at 9:47 pm

    What, no

    Go, tell Aunt Rhody
    Go, tell Aunt Rhody
    Go, tell Aunt Rhody
    The old grey goose is dead

  15. November 15, 2006 at 9:49 pm

    Hmm, I missed the part about the words being originally something else. I’m not sure which came first.

    Still, it’s a bit jarring when you realize…

  16. Bill
    November 16, 2006 at 12:34 am

    Bryce, you partially answered my post 6.

    I was referring to the Jean-Jacques Roussea opera, Le devin du village, which is the source for hymn 163. Actually there is some dispute as to whether the tune arose independently around the same time, but our hymnbook still credits Rousseau, despite his version of the tune being somewhat different.

    The text, Lord, Dimiss Us with Thy Blessing, by Fawcett (there is another hymn text of the same first line by Henry Buckoll, from 1850), is almost as old (1773) as the Rousseau opera (1752). I don’t know how old the text Go, tell Aunt Rhody is (apparently it was sung as early as 1798 as aunt Dinah). Nor do I know when the tune was first put together with the Fawcett text. The tune (sometimes called Greenville) can also be found as the 19th century sacred harp piece, Sweet Affliction. The Fawcett text is more commonly sung to the Sicilian Mariner’s hymn, although it has also been paired with the tunes Regent Square, St. Raphael, Dismissal (which also has similarities to the Rousseau tune), and probably others with the 8787D meter.

  17. Bill
    November 16, 2006 at 1:00 am

    Since no one is biting, I’ll give the answers to posts 4 and 5 as well:

    Post 5 refers to the original texts for Song 13 by Orlando Gibbons. In 1623 George Wither published “Hymnes and Songs of the Church” which included 17 tunes by Gibbons. Song 13 was used for both texts above, the music for the second pair of lines being repeated for the six-line stanza.

    Song 13 appears in our hymnbook as 231, Father, Cheer Our Souls Tonight

    Post 4 gives the first lines of the trio from Act I of Meyerbeer’s Il crociato in Egitto, an opera on the sixth crusade, first performed in Venice at La Fenice in 1824, and has the signal distinction of being probably the last opera ever written to feature a castrato.

    It appears in our hymnbook as 196, Jesus, Once of Humble Birth

  18. amh
    November 16, 2006 at 2:02 am

    What about that homage to Johannes Gutenberg which begins:

    Vaterland, in deinen Gauen brach der gold’ne Tag einst an
    Deutschland, deine Völker sahn seinen Schimmer niederthauen
    Gutenberg, der deutsche Mann…

  19. Mark B.
    November 16, 2006 at 10:33 am

    The problem with taking that second verse out of “From Greenland’s Icy Mountains” is that nobody appreciates any more the humor in Eugene Field’s “Jes’ ‘fore Christmas”

    Gran’ma says she hopes that when I git to be a man,
    I ‘ll be a missionarer like her oldest brother, Dan,
    As was et up by the cannibuls that lives in Ceylon’s Isle,
    Where every prospeck pleases, an’ only man is vile!

  20. Nate W.
    November 16, 2006 at 7:49 pm

    New one for all of you…

    Near Banbridge town, in the County Down
    One morning in July
    Down a boreen green came a sweet colleen
    And she smiled as she passed me by.
    She looked so sweet from her two white feet
    To the sheen of her nut-brown hair
    Such a coaxing elf, I’d to shake myself
    To make sure I was standing there.
    From Bantry Bay up to Derry Quay
    And from Galway to Dublin town
    No maid I’ve seen like the sweet colleen
    That I met in the County Down.

  21. Bill
    November 17, 2006 at 7:12 pm

    amh has given us the text to part of Mendelssohn’s Festkantate from 1840, the part that was excerpted by an Englishman 15 years later and pair with the Wesley text, “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing”

    Nate W. contributes a text that appears to have been associated with a tune also known as Kingsfold, paired in our hymnbook with the Phelps text being discussed in a concurrent thread. For much more, see here

    I’m afraid I had to depend on a search engine to ferret these ones out.

  22. Charles
    November 30, 2006 at 9:11 am

    Does anybody know where I can get the full text for the part of Mendelssohn’s Festgesang that amh quoted in the post above? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  23. Bill
    December 1, 2006 at 2:06 am

    Here, courtesy of the New York Public Library, where I checked out the miniature score this afternoon on the way to a rehearsal, is the text of the Festgesang, WoO 9 (not to be confused with the Festgesang an die Kuenstler, op. 68, with text by Schiller, published in the same volume):

    Apologies – I haven’t learned to put in the accents

    Festgesang, for men’s chorus and orchestra, text by A.E. Proelss

    1st part (chorale)

    Begeht mit heil’gen Lobgesang
    die grosse Freudenstunde,
    kommt, singet tausend stimme Dank
    dem Herrn mit Herz und Munde.

    Er hat uns diesen Tag gemacht,
    er hat aus dicht verhuellter Nacht
    das Licht hervor gerufen

    Jahrhunderte schon freuen sich
    in seinem hellen Strahle,
    und immer weiter giesst es sich
    bis in die fernsten Thale,

    wo Finsterniss und Grm einst lag
    da glaenzt nun sonnenhell der Tag.
    O preis’t den Gott der Liebe.

    Part 2 (the tune later known as Hark, the herald angels sing)

    Vaterland, in deinem Gauen brach der gold’ne Tag einst an,
    Deutschland, deine Voelkersah’n seinem Schimmer niederthauen.
    Gutenberg, der deithsche Mann, zuendete die Fackel an

    Neues allgewalt’ges Streben wogt im Land des Lichtes auf,
    seinem raschen Siegeslauf folgt ein allbeglueckend Leben.
    Gutenberg, der grosse Mann, hat dies hehre Werk gethan.

    Ob die Finsterniss sich wehrt, ob sie fuehret tausend Streiche,
    ob sie wuethet, sich empoert, sie erblasst, sie sinkt als Leiche,
    doch gekroent als Siegesheld, stejt das Licht vor alle Welt.
    Gutenberg, du wackrer Mann, du stehst glorreich auf dem Plan.

    Part 3

    Der Herr, der sprach:
    Es werde Licht!

    Er half im harten Streite
    er stand mit Trost und Zuversicht
    beschuetzend dir zur Seite

    Der Glaube an sein heilig Wort
    war deine Wehr, dein Schild, dein Hort
    so musstest Du gewinnen

    Heil dir, nun kroent Unsterblichkeit
    dich, frommer Held, mit Herrlichkeit,
    Heil dir, Heil uns in Ewigkeit.

    Part 4 (chorale tune – Nun Danket Alle Gott)

    Heil ihm! Heil uns! So schallt zu deinen heil’gen Thronen,
    Herr, unser Gott, hinauf der Ruf von Millionen,
    und bruenstig flehen wir: lass in des Lochtes Schein
    der ganzen Menschheit Heil, Herr, immermehr gedeih’n

  24. Bill
    December 1, 2006 at 2:10 am

    In part 2 it should be “deutsche Mann” in the first verse.

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