From: Richard Thomas [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, January 24, 2015 9:40 PM
The opening hymn was written by Isaac Watts, “I Sing the Mighty Power of God,” No. 288, sung to the tune ELLACOMBE.
Isaac Watts wrote the words in 1715. The tune dates from 1784.
Published in a chapel hymnal for the Duke of Würtemberg (Gesangbuch der Herzogl, 1784), ELLACOMBE (the name of a village in Devonshire, England) was first set to the words "Ave Maria, klarer und lichter Morgenstern." During the first half of the nineteenth century various German hymnals altered the tune.
ELLACOMBE is a rounded bar form (AABA), rather cheerful in character, and easily sung in harmony.
Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Isaac Watts was born in Southampton, UK, on 17 Jul 1674, and died at Stoke Newington, UK, on 25 Nov 1748. He wrote 750 hymns, many of which are still sung today. His parents were not members of the Church of England, so, because of the Uniformity Act of 1662, Watts was not allowed to attend Oxford or Cambridge.
The father of Isaac Watts was a leader of Protestant dissenters and ran a boarding school in Southampton. He spent several periods in jail for his non-conformity.
Even before Isaac Watts could speak plainly, he loved books. He began to learn Latin at the age of four. He also learned Greek and studied Hebrew. He started writing verses or poems at the age of seven or eight. As he was excluded from the colleges, in 1690, at age 16, he went to London to be educated by the Rev. Mr. Thomas Rowe.
In addition to being a hymn writer, Isaac Watts was a logician, you can read one of his books on that topic on Google books:
The Improvement of the Mind: Or, A Supplement to the Art of Logick: Containing a Variety of Remarks and Rules for the Attainment and Communication of Useful Knowledge, in Religion, in the Sciences, and in Common Life, 2 ed., London, 1743.
We were going to sing this hymn on 28 Aug 2011, but the service was cancelled due to Tropical Storm Irene.
We did sing the hymn on 14 Oct 2013, on 02 Feb 2014, and on 24 Aug 2014. Earlier, I wrote:
The best thing about this hymn is that we get to try to rhyme “food” with “good,” which makes your lips pucker.
Here it is sung a cappella by a male trio:
http://youtu.be/uCLCHebTKas “I Sing the Mighty Power of God” sung by the Ball Brothers
And performed by the McLean Bible Church String Orchestra
http://youtu.be/xSH-8f2NKOU “I Sing the Mighty Power of God” instrumental, string quartet, arranged by Jeff Anderson (exceptionally good)
If you prefer a rock version, you can hear one here:
http://youtu.be/fasFvlEH8-E “The Mighty Power of God” by Team Strike Force of the Mars Hill Church in Seattle. (I actually like the music, but it doesn’t fit the words very well.)
If we could get a guitarist and a drummer, the Old South Haven Choir could try that version.
The second hymn is “There is a Wideness in God’s Mercy,” written by Frederick William Faber in 1854. The tune is a Dutch melody, IN BABILONE. In 2008, Danny Coreliussen had us order 10 copies of this hymn as an anthem arrangement by Maurice Bevan, but that’s an entirely different tune.
Frederick Faber (b. 28 Jun 1814, Calverley, Yorkshire, England; d. London, 26 Sep 1863) attended Harrow School, then Balliol College, University of Oxford. He was of Huguenot descent, and was tempted by Calvinism, but ultimately decided to follow the ideas of Newman. He was ordained in the Church of England in 1839. During tours of Europe, he began to develop an enthusiasm for Catholic liturgy and rites.
Faber was received into the Catholic faith in October 1845. He established a religious community at Cotton Hall, near Cheadle, Staffordshire, in 1846. The members of the group were called Wilfridians, for St. Wilfrid was their patron saint. Faber was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1847.
You can learn about the movement here: http://youtu.be/aOjJhXbYmr8 St. Wilfrid’s Church
There was some friction, as Rome wanted to use its funds to start Catholic congregations in the big cities; Birmingham, Manchester, and London, rather than support a small group in the Midlands. But Lord Shrewsbury, who had already provided a significant amount in support of St. Wilfrid’s, insisted it not be abandoned.
Frederick W. Faber
Faber’s group began converting the community to Catholicism, and except for “the parson, the pew-opener, and two drunken men,” they succeeded.
http://youtu.be/HQISm1Iu5nk “There is a Wideness in God’s Mercy,” by Larry Sue and Carla
The tune, IN BABILONE, dates from before 1710 and is also used with “Hail, Thou Once-Despisèd Jesus!,” “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken, Zion, City of Our God,” “Christ, We Climb with You the Mountain,” “See the Conqueror Mounts in Triumph,” “Holy Spirit, Ever Dwelling,” and “Son of God, Eternal Savior.”
The closing hymn is “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind” (1872) by the poet John Greenleaf Whittier. The tune is REST (1887) by Frederick Charles Maker.
Whittier was a Quaker and an abolitionist. When I was in the fourth grade, I had a teacher who believed in the old ways of teaching, where the pupils were to read and memorize poetry. One of the poems was “The Barefoot Boy” by John Greenleaf Whittier:
Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And thy merry whistled tunes;
With thy red lip, redder still
Kissed by strawberries on the hill;
With the sunshine on thy face,
Through thy torn brim's jaunty grace;
From my heart I give thee joy, -
I was once a barefoot boy!
Prince thou art, - the grown-up man
Only is republican.
Let the million-dollared ride!
Barefoot, trudging at his side,
Thou hast more than he can buy
In the reach of ear and eye, -
Outward sunshine, inward joy:
Blessings on thee, barefoot boy!
. . .
He started out life as a farm-boy, so perhaps he was once a barefoot boy himself. Then he became a shoemaker! It was later that he went into journalism and poetry.
He was the editor of the American Manufacturer (Boston), and the New England Review. In 1836, he became secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society. In 1847, he became corresponding editor of the National Era.
The words of “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind” are taken from a much longer poem, “The Brewing of Soma” beginning at the twelfth stanza.
His poems were used for many other hymns, including “All Things Are Thine, No Gift Have We,” “O Brother Man, Fold to Thy Heart Thy Brother,” “We May Not Climb the Heavenly Steeps,” “Another Hand Is Beckoning Us,” “I Ask Not Now for Gold to Gild,” “O Lord and Master of Us All,” “We Faintly Hear, We Dimly See,” “Immortal Love, Forever Full,” “O Pure Reformers, Not in Vain,” and “Shall We Grow Weary in Our Watch?”
Here is the hymn:
http://youtu.be/ChwULHU8Asc “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind,” by John Greenleaf Whittier; tune REST (Elton) by Frederick Charles Maker
Frederick Charles Maker (b. 16 Aug 1844, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England; d. 01 Jan 1927, Bristol) was the organist for several non-conformist churches in Bristol: the Milk Street Free Methodist Church, Redland Park Free Congregational Church, and Clifton Downs Free Congregational Church He was also Professor of Music at Clifton College.
Frederick C. Maker also composed the tune for “Beneath the Cross of Jesus,” ST. CHRISTOPHER.