Psalm 47

47A: Clap Your Hands, O Faithful People!

Performance Notes:

Tune Information:

NETTLETON is a rounded bar form (AABA) with a harmonization easily sung in parts by congregations. Named for nineteenth-century evangelist Ahasel Nettleton, the tune was published anonymously with this text in John Wyeth's collection of folk hymnody, Repository of Sacred Music, Part Second (1813). The tune may possibly be related to a group of folk melodies used for "Go Tell Aunt Rhody Her Old Grey Goose Is Dead."

A printer by trade, Wyeth (b. Cambridge, MA, 1770; d. Philadelphia, PA, 1858) is important in the history of hymnody as a compiler and publisher of early shape-note tunebooks. He worked briefly in Santa Domingo but had to flee when a revolt occurred. In 1792 he settled in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he lived for much of the rest of his life. A Unitarian, he was coeditor for some thirty-five years of the Federalist newspaper Oracle of Dauphin, a prominent source of news and opinion. Not a musician himself, Wyeth published Repository of Sacred Music (1810) and, with the help of Methodist preacher and musician Elkanah Kelsay Dare, Repository of Music, Part Second (1813). Intended for Methodist and Baptist camp meetings, these tune books contained a number of anonymous folk tunes as well as music by a number of composers, including William Billings. The two volumes influenced the next generation of tunebooks, such as Southern Harmony, and a number of the folk tunes have survived as hymn tunes in various modern hymnals.

Other Resources:

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

Alternative Harmonization for Organ and Descant Resources:

  • Fedak, Alfred V. Hymn Intonations Preludes and Free Harmonizations. Vol III. Selah 160-723 [1992]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:

  • Carlson, J. Bert. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 [2000]
  • Hopson, Hal H. The Creative Use of the Piano in Worship. Hope 8392 [2008]

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Michael Morgan © 1999, 2011 Michael Morgan, admin. Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Music (NETTLETON 8.7.8.7 D): J. Wyeth's Repository of Sacred Music Part II, 1813
  • 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.

47B: God Has Gone Up

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1081 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.

Other Resources:

 Copyright Information:

  • Words: David Lee © 1996 David Lee
  • Music: David Lee; arr. John Barnard © 1996 David Lee
  • Reprint Information:

47C: Clap Your Hands, All Ye Nations

Other Resources:

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

Copyright Information:

  • Words and Music: Bob Kauflin © 1986 Integrity’s Praise! Music/Sovereign Grace Praise, Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Ministries, admin. EMI CMG Publishing
  • Reprint Information:

47D: Clap Your Hands, All You Nations

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1081 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: Greg Scheer © 2009 Greg Scheer
  • Music: Yoruba folk song; adapt. Godwin Sadoh © 2005 Wayne Leupold Editions, Inc.; harm. Greg Scheer © 2009 Greg Scheer
  • Reprint Information:

47E: Nations, Clap Your Hands

Performance Notes:

Text Information:

A celebration of the LORD's universal reign and its recognition by the nations of the world.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-4
st. 2 =vv. 5-7
st. 3 = vv. 8-9

Ascribed to (or assigned to) "the Sons of Korah," this celebration of the universal reign of God serves as a powerful congregational testimony to the sure triumph of God's kingdom. The psalmist calls all nations to join in the praise of this "great King" (v. 2), whose victories make his people secure in their inheritance (st. 1). God is "King of all the earth" (v. 7; st. 2), and God's universal reign draws the nobility of the nations to assemble around his throne (st. 3).

In language and theme Psalm 47 shows much affinity with Psalms 93-99. It stands between two songs (46, 48) that celebrate the security of the city of God, thus reinforcing their theme. It's likely that this psalm played a role in the temple liturgy, but its place in that liturgy is uncertain.

Cor Wm. Barendrecht originally versified this psalm in an unrhymed text in 1980; the Psalter Hymnal Revision Committee added rhyme and recast a number of lines to arrive at the current versification. Another partial setting of Psalm 47 is at 166.

Liturgical Use:
Praise occasions; especially Ascension Day (st. 2).

Tune Information:

GENEVAN 47 was first published in the 1551 edition of the Genevan Psalter, which was supervised by Louis Bourgeois; Claude Goudimel harmonized it in the tenor in 1564. Restored to its exciting original rhythms in this edition of the Psalter Hymnal, this tune could well serve as the model for what Shakespeare called "Genevan jigs." The rhythmic pattern is the same for each of the six long phrases of this major (Ionian) tune. Use a bright organ registration, and do not hesitate to try percussion; in fact, the biblical text calls for clapping.

Other Resources:

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

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Psalter Hymnal, 1987, alt. © 1987 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Music (GENEVAN 47 | 5.5.5.5.5.5 D): Louis Bourgeois (ca. 1510-1561), 1551; harm. Claude Goudimel (ca. 1505-1572), 1564, 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 a license to reprint it.

47F: A Responsorial Setting

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1081 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.

Other Resources:

  • Purchase a collection or CD recording written by John Bell that contains this song and is published by GIA Publications, Inc.
  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: The Iona Community © 1993 Wild Goose Resource Group, Iona Community, Scotland, GIA Publications, Inc., exclusive North American agent
  • Music: John L. Bell (b. 1949) © 1993 Wild Goose Resource Group, Iona Community, Scotland, GIA Publications, Inc., exclusive North American agent
  • Psalm Text: from Evangelical Lutheran Worship © 2006 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, admin. Augsburg Fortress Publishers
  • Tone: © 2011 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words and Music: permitted with a license from OneLicense.net.
    • When reprinting the Psalm Text and Tone, please use the correct copyright line. Faith Alive Christian Resources gives you permission to reprint the Tone for use in a worship setting.