Tuesday, January 31, 2017
LDS Hymn #59
This is such a fun hymn to sing! Lots of movement. Fun to play on the piano, but much harder on the organ when you have to make it legato. Then you have the echoing tenor and bass on the third line--always love those. I have sung this song so many times, and knew we were singing about our desire for the Lord to come. Somehow I never put it together that it was singing about the Second Coming and Millennium. Last song of that in its section. Not sure why I never quite connected. But it is still wonderful!
*With healing in thy wings
*With songs of joy, a happier strain
*The wide expanse of heaven fill
*And ev'ry tongue sounds praise to thee
From the history book
Our wonderful Parley P. Pratt had this hymn published in 1840. They're not sure the story behind his writing it, but Brother George Pyper feels it was probably written amidst the trial in Missouri when the Saints would most especially be looking forward to the Savior coming again and taking way the pain, leaving behind joy and rejoicing. Even if not written during those trials, the memory of them likely remained freshly. The 1950 hymnal had the last two verses printed below the hymn and rarely sung, so they put them up with the other hymns to be sung more. Ironic that even then they knew about congregations' bad habit of not singing all verses, particularly ones printed below the music. Yet the current hymnal still has hymns printed that way and the verses are sadly neglected.