Psalm 104

104A: A Litany of Praise

Performance Notes:

  • For notes on this litany, see page 1087 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Litany and Music: Coni Huisman © 2011 Coni Huisman, admin. Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Reprint Information:

104B: The Mountains Stand in Awe

Performance Notes:

Tune Information:

Named after the Jewish cantor whose performance of the Yigdal inspired Olivers to write this text, LEONI is the second of the seven historic Jewish melodies associated with the great Hebrew doxology, which were handed down orally from one cantor to another. Olivers adapted Lyon's version for congregational use. Known also by his liturgical name, Meyer Leoni (b. London, England, 1751; d. Kingston, Jamaica, 1797), Lyon was a tenor at the Covent Garden and Drury Lane theaters in London and a cantor in several synagogues, including the Great Synagogue in Aldgate.

LEONI is a magnificent tune with lots of life and vibrant rhythms. Sing the outer stanzas in a full-voiced unison and the middle ones in harmony at a more moderate volume. The harmonization is taken from Hymns Ancient and Modern (1875). Because the Yigdal was traditionally sung in responsorial fashion, antiphonal singing might be appropriate.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.
  • The following are alternative accompaniments for this tune, LEONI/YIGDAL

Alternative Harmonization for Organ and Descant Resources:

  • Archer, Malcolm. After the Last Verse. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0 86209 502 6 [1995]
  • Burkhardt, Michael  As Though the Whole Creation Cried  vol. 2. Morningstar MSM-10-606 [2009]
  • Busarow, Donald. Thirty More Accompaniments for Hymns in Canon. Augsburg11-10163 [1992]
  • Cassler, G. Winston. Organ Descants for Selected Hymns. Augsburg 11-9304 [1972]
  • Eggert, John. Creative Hymn Accompaniments for Organ. vol. 2 CPH97-6851 [2000]
  • Hancock, Gerre. Organ Improvisations for Hymn Singing. Hinshaw HMO-100 [1975]
  • Mawby, Colin.  Hymns for Occasions. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0-86209-568-9 [1994]
  • Noble, T. Tertius. Free Organ Accompaniments to One Hundred Well-Known Hymn Tunes. J. Fischer 8175 [1946]
  • Rawsthorne, Noel. 200 Last Verses. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0 86209 189 6 [1991]
  • Shaw, Geoffrey. The Descant Hymn-Tune Book bk 1. Novello 15207
  • Wyton, Alec. New Shoots from Old Roots. SMP KK 279 [1983]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:

  • Hopson, Hal H. The Creative Use of the Piano in Worship. Hope 8392 [2008]

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Ken Bible © 2007 LNWhymns.com, admin. Music Services
  • Music (LEONI/YIGDAL 6.6.8.4 d): Hebrew melody; adapt. Meyer Lyon (1751-1797), P.D.
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words: permitted with a CCLI License.
    • Music: The Music is in Public Domain. You do not need permission to reprint it.

104C: We Worship You, Whose Splendor Dwarfs the Cosmos

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1087 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.
  • The following article is from the Psalter Hymnal Handbook.

Tune Information:

James Walch (b. Edgerton, Lancashire, England, 1837; d. Llandudno, Caernarvon, Wales, 1901) composed TIDINGS in 1875 for Frederick W. Faber's hymn text "Hark, Hark, My Soul! Angelic Songs Are Swelling"; the tune was first published in The Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common Prayer (1877). TIDINGS is often associated with Mary A. Thomson's "O Zion, Haste, Thy Mission High Fulfilling"; in fact, the tune name derives from the word "tidings" in Thomson's refrain .

Walch received a musical education from his father and from the famous organist and organ builder Henry Smart . He served as organist at Duke's Alley Congregational Church (1851-1857), Bridge Street Wesleyan Chapel (1858-1863), and St. George's Parish Church (1863-1877)-all in Bolton. He conducted for the Bolton Philharmonic Society from 1870 to 1877 and near the end of his life was a music dealer in Barrow-in-Furness. Walch composed a number of hymn tunes and other church music.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.
  • The following are alternative accompiments for this tune, ANGELIC SONGS/TIDINGS.

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:

  • Sedio, Mark. Let It Rip! At the Piano. vol. 2 Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7580-0 [2003]

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Martin Leckebusch © 2006 Kevin Mayhew Ltd.
  • Music (TIDINGS 11.10.11.10 with refrain): James Walch, 1875, P.D.
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words: permitted with a license from OneLicense.net or a CCLI License.
    • Music: The Music is in Public Domain. You do not need permission to reprint it.

104D: Send Forth Your Spirit, O Lord

Other Resources:

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Steven C. Warner © 1996 World Library Publications
  • Music: Steven C. Warner; arr. Steven C. Warner and Shirley Luttio © 1996 World Library Publications
  • Reprint Information:

104E: My Soul, Praise the LORD!

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1087 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.
  • The following article is from the Psalter Hymnal Handbook.

Tune Information:

William Croft (b. Nether Ettington, Warwickshire, England, 1678; d. Bath, Somerset, England, 1727) was a boy chorister in the Chapel Royal in London and then an organist at St. Anne's, Soho. Later he became organist, composer, and master of the children of the Chapel Royal, and eventually organist at Westminster Abbey. His duties at the Chapel Royal were expanded in 1715 to include teaching boys reading, writing, and arithmetic, as well as composition and organ playing. Croft published a two-volume collection of his church music, Musica sacra (1724), in one score rather than in separate part books, and in his preface encouraged others to do likewise. He contributed psalm tunes to The Divine Companion (1707) and to the Supplement to the New Version of Psalms by Dr. Brady and Mr. Tate (1708), which included HANOVER. These tunes mark a new development in English psalm tunes. HANOVER was printed anonymously, but William Croft is generally credited with its composition. The name derives from the House of Hanover, the family of King George III.

The descant is by Alan Gray (b. York, England, 1855; d. Cambridge, England, 1935). Gray studied law and music at Trinity College, Cambridge. A composer of church music and works for organ and chamber groups, he was music director at Wellington College (1883-1892) and Trinity College (1892-1930). He also conducted the Cambridge University Music Society. His A Book of Descants (1923) became very popular.

HANOVER is a well-crafted tune, distinguished in part by its triple meter, which was still rare in hymn tunes in the early eighteenth century.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.
  • The following are alternative accompaniments for this tune, HANOVER.

Alternative Harmonization for Organ and Descant Resources:

  • Archer, Malcolm. After the Last Verse. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0 86209 502 6 [1995]
  • Busarow, Donald. Thirty More Accompaniments for Hymns in Canon. Augsburg11-10163 [1992]
  • Cassler, G. Winston. Organ Descants for Selected Hymns. Augsburg 11-9304 [1972]
  • Goode, Jack C. Thirty-four Changes on Hymn Tunes. H W Grey GB 644 [1978]
  • Mawby, Colin.  Hymns for Occasions. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0-86209-568-9 [1994]
  • Noble, T. Tertius. Free Organ Accompaniments to One Hundred Well-Known Hymn Tunes. J. Fischer 8175 [1946]
  • Rawsthorne, Noel. 200 Last Verses. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0 86209 189 6 [1991]
  • Shaw, Geoffrey. The Descant Hymn-Tune Book bk 1. Novello 15207
  • Thiman, Eric. Varied Accompaniments to Thirty-Four Well-Known Hymn Tunes. Oxford ISBN 0 19 323210 3 [1937]
  • Wilkinson, John T. One Hundred and Four Descants for “The Hymn Book”. enThusia [1980]
  • Wyton, Alec. New Shoots from Old Roots. SMP KK 279 [1983]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:

  • Hopson, Hal H. The Creative Use of the Piano in Worship. Hope 8392 [2008]
  • Maynard, Lynette. Let It Rip! At the Piano. vol. 2 Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7580-0 [2003]

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Psalter, 1912, alt., P.D.
  • Music (HANOVER 10.10.11.11): attr. William Croft, 1708, P.D.
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words and Music: both are in Public Domain. You do not need permission to reprint this song.

104F: O Worship the King

Performance Notes:

The first line of this beloved hymn immediately reveals its appropriateness for the festival of the Ascension. We know a good deal about the text, but the source of the tune was always a puzzle. Our "final" draft of the handbook included the usual indication that no one had been able to discover the origins of the tune. Though hymnals have always indicated "attributed to Haydn," no one could trace it to Haydn.

Now comes the fun part. Last summer at the Hymn Society Conference in Savannah, Georgia, I was talking with Daniel McKinley, then choirmaster and organist at First Christian Church in Columbus, Indiana, and learned that his assistant, Margaret Dinsmore, had just dug up some new information about this tune. Their congregation was in the process of producing its very own hymnal, a very big task! They wanted to be accurate in listing authors and composers, and since no one had ever uncovered the real source of this tune, Margaret Dinsmore went to work. She was researching Haydn sources in the University of Indiana library when a title popped up: "The Sonatina with Twelve Variations by J. Haydn (sic). It was the "sic." that intrigued her. After some more sleuthing, she got the title of a German book by Bertil H. Van Boer, Jr., who wrote about the Swedish composer Joseph Martin Kraus. That book listed the Sonatina, and the first few measures included in the book were obviously the same opening notes to the tune LYONS!

Mystery solved! In fact, the tune was written for piano with an added violin part. Dinsmore kindly faxed me the information; I went to the library, got some biographical information on Kraus, and quickly added the new information to the first page proofs of the handbook. The Psalter Hymnal Handbook is probably the first one to list Kraus as the composer, thanks to the impressive library research skills of Margaret Dinsmore.

What a rich testimony this hymn is to the communion of the saints: the hymn text is rooted in Scripture as well as the devotional life of someone with Scottish roots living in India and set to a tune by a German/Swedish composer living in England. And the hymn is still sung around the world a hundred and fifty years later!

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 18:2, Dan. 7:9, 13, 22
st. 2 = Ps. 18:9-12, Ps. 104:1-3
st. 3 = Ps. 104:7-10
st. 5 = Ps. 145:10

Robert Grant (b. Bengal, India, 1779; d. Dalpoorie, India, 1838) was influenced in writing this text by William Kethe’s paraphrase of Psalm 104 in the Anglo-Genevan Psalter (1561). Grant’s text was first published in Edward Bickersteth’s Christian Psalmody (1833) with several unauthorized alterations. In 1835 his original six-stanza text was published in Henry Elliott’s Psalm and Hymns. Stanza 3 was omitted in the Psalter Hymnal.

Rather than being a paraphrase or versification, the text is a meditation on the creation theme of Psalm 104. Stanzas 1-3, which allude to Psalm 104:1-6, focus on God’s creation as a testimony to his “measureless Might.” More personal in tone, stanzas 4 and 5 confess the compassion of God toward his creatures and affirm with apocalyptic vision that the “ransomed creation, with glory ablaze” will join with angels to hymn its praise to God.

Of Scottish ancestry, Grant was born in India, where his father was a director of the East India Company. He attended Magdalen College, Cambridge, and was called to the bar in 1807. He had a distinguished public career a Governor of Bombay and as a member of the British Parliament, where he sponsored a bill to remove civil restrictions on Jews. Grant was knighted in 1834. His hymn texts were published in the Christian Observer (1806-1815), in Elliot’s Psalms and Hymns (1835), and posthumously by his brother as Sacred Poems (1839).

Tune Information:

LYONS, named for the French city Lyons, appeared with a reference to “Haydn” in volume 2 of William Gardiner’s Sacred Melodies. However, the tune was never found in the works of Franz Joseph Haydn or those of his younger brother Johann Michael Haydn. Recent research revealed that the tune was composed by Joseph Martin Kraus, a German composer who settled in Sweden and who traveled widely throughout Europe. Die Werke von Joseph Martin Kraus systematisch-thematisches Werkvereichnis, by Bertil H. Van Boer, Jr. (Stockholm, 1988), includes information on Kraus’ “Tema con variazioni (Scherzo),” a work composed around 1785 in London with an incipit that clearly matches the opening measure of LYONS. The work was published as a set of twelve variations for piano and violin in London in 1791. The violin part may have been an addition by another composer, perhaps “G. Haydn,” since a subsequent London edition (c. 1808) was entitled “Sonita with Twelve Variations for the Piano Forte with Violin Accompaniments, composed by G. Haydn.”

Joseph Martin Kraus (b. Miltenberg am Main, Germany, 1756; d. Stockholm, Sweden, 1792) spent his youth in Germany, but in 1778 moved to Stockholm. He was elected to the Swedish Academy of Music and became the conductor of the court orchestra and eventually the best-known composer associated with the court of Gustavus III. On his travels, Kraus did meet Franz Joseph Haydn, who considered Kraus “one of the greatest geniuses I have met.” Kraus wrote operas as well as many vocal and instrumental works.

A bright melody, LYONS is much loved by many congregations. Lines 1,2, and 4 are similar in shape; lines 2 and 4 are identical. The climbing melody and dominant pedal-point of line 3 provides contrast. Sing stanzas 1, 3, and 5 in solid unison and stanzas 2 and 4 in harmony. Use clear, bright accompaniment. Maintain one pulse per bar. LYONS’ opening figure is similar to that of HANOVER (149 and 477), a good alternate tune.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.
  • The following are alternative accompaniments for this tune, LYONS.

Alternative Harmonization for Organ and Descant Resources:

  • Burkhardt, Michael. Easy Hymn Settings General. Set 3 Morningstar MSM-10-615 [2001]
  • Cassler, G. Winston. Organ Descants for Selected Hymns. Augsburg 11-9304 [1972]
  • Fedak, Alfred V. Hymn Intonations Preludes and Free Harmonizations. Vol III. Selah 160-723 [1992]
  • Goode, Jack C. Thirty-four Changes on Hymn Tunes. H W Grey GB 644 [1978]
  • McKinney, Howard D. Preludes for Fifty-Five Well-Known Hymn Tunes. J. Fischer 9770 [1967]
  • Noble, T. Tertius. Free Organ Accompaniments to One Hundred Well-Known Hymn Tunes. J. Fischer 8175 [1946]
  • Wyton, Alec. New Shoots from Old Roots. SMP KK 279 [1983]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:

  • Carlson, J. Bert. Let It Rip! At the Piano. vol. 2 Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7580-0 [2003]
  • Hopson, Hal H. The Creative Use of the Piano in Worship. Hope 8392 [2008]

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Robert Grant, 1833, alt., P.D.
  • Music (LYONS 10.10.11.11): W. Gardiner’s Sacred Melodies, 1815; attr. Johann Michael Haydn, P.D.
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words and Music: both are in Public Domain. You do not need permission to reprint this song.

104G: A Responsorial Setting

Performance Notes:

  • For notes on this setting, see page 1087 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Rhabanus Maurus (776-856); tr. composite, P.D.
  • Music (VENI CREATOR SPIRITUS fragment): Sarum plainsong, mode VIII; arr. Martin Tel © 2011 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Tone: © 2011 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words: The Words are in Public Domain. You do not need permission to reprint the words.
    • Music: permitted with a license from OneLicense.net or a CCLI License.
    • When reprinting the Tone, please use the correct copyright line. Faith Alive Christian Resources gives you permission to reprint the Tone for use in a worship setting.