Tuesday, December 6, 2016
LDS Hymn #40
This song is both ridiculously hard and absolutely delightful to play. And was almost impossible on the organ--thank heavens my teacher did not ask me to learn pedal on it.
This is as far from the chord-chord-chord set up as you can get, including an incredible part for bass singers (quite rare). The tune goes perfectly with the text about arising and shining into a world of darkness, with nothing to fear in spite of trials and temptations because this is God's work and we are His people.
*Arise and shine in splendor Amid the world's deep night, For God thy sure defender, Is now they life and light.
*With the redeemed shall, singing, To Zion come again
*All of Verse 3, especially But patient, firm endurance, With glory in our view
*Oh, grant, Eternal Father, That we may faithful be
*To him be glory given Whose blood did us redeem
So much joy and hope and determination in the words. How can you not want to sing it exuberantly as the music indicates? It is so fun and beautiful, we'll even ignore the Utah reference in Verse 2. :-)
From the history book
This hymn was written 2 years after the Saints came to Utah. So, yes, the author was referring to Utah as Zion. The 1985 hymnbook committee decided to make this more applicable to all the Church, since Zion is worldwide. So they deleted 3 of the 4 verses that were "within the rows" in the 1950 hymnal and substituted 3 of the little-used "extra" verses printed below the hymn. Ah--those poor, unsung verses. See how amazing they can be? :-) The removed verses are really good, too, but definitely Utah-centric. Would be nice to be sung in a DUP meeting or some celebration of Utah history. Nothing said about the marvelous tune. :-( But it is by George Careless--who has written nine of our hymns' tunes.