Sunday, January 22, 2017
LDS Hymn #57
This was another that came to my notice as current ward choir director. One of my more musically inclined brothers--familiar with more of the lesser known hymns than others--mentioned this as a possibility to be sung. So we did. A simple arrangement of a hymn not well know. The tune is very simple, with some movement for the tenors and basses. And the text is about the Millennium (since we are still in that section). But I like that the first verse is our commitment to the Lord--which is required for the other 3 verses to be possible for us.
Favorite line: When he comes down from heav'n to earth...we hope with him to stand
From the history book
Written by our Brother Phelps, this was also included in Emma's first hymnal in 1835. He was influenced by the talented Isaac Watts with his first line, as well as the fourth verse. After 1835, the first 2 lines of verse 2 were revised because they were awkward to sing, as was the first line of verse 3. The tune in the 1950 hymnal was too difficult, even for many choirs. "Only very experienced pianists and organists could play it." So our lovely organist John Longhurst (I kind of miss hearing him play) was invited to write the one that we don't sing today. ;-) The brand of one of the small pipe organs that the Tabernacle organists practice on is called the Austin, and Brother Longhurst composed this tune one day while at that organ.