Psalm 72

72A: Hail to the Lord’s Anointed

Performance Notes:

Isaac Watts (1674-1748) was one of the earliest and most prominent hymn writers to "Christianize" the psalms. In fact, he is known as the Father of English hymnody. In Watts's day most churches permitted their congregations to sing only psalms— no hymns. Watts became impatient with some of the poor poetry based on the psalms and with being unable to sing about the Christian faith in New Testament terms, so he decided to "Christianize" some of the psalms.

His "Christianized" psalms opened the door in many churches to accepting hymns in public worship. Most Christians are familiar with his "Jesus Shall Reign," but perhaps not all are aware that this is Watts's free paraphrase of Psalm 72.

"Hail to the Lord's Anointed" is another paraphrase of Psalm 72, written almost a century later by James Montgomery (1771-1854). Although not as popular as "Jesus Shall Reign," "Hail to the Lord's Anointed" is a closer paraphrase of Psalm 72, especially with Bert Polman's revision for the Psalter Hymnal.

James Montgomery was born of Moravian parents who later served as missionaries to the West Indies. When both his parents died, Montgomery was sent to a Moravian school in England. He began studying for the ministry but soon became frustrated and turned to his first love, poetry. For most of his life, Montgomery worked as a journalist and editor of a small newspaper, the Sheffield Iris, which published many of his over four hundred hymns. Among the most famous of his hymns are "Angels from the Realms of Glory" and "According to Thy Gracious Word."

Many churches celebrate mission emphasis during Epiphany, a most appropriate time to demonstrate that God reveals himself to the world through his people. "Hail to the Lord's Anointed" focuses on the mission aspect of the Epiphany theme. It speaks of God's rule over all the nations (st. 2 and st. 6) and the desert tribes and foreign kings who pay tribute to him (st. 3).

Your congregation will enjoy learning this hymn. The opening measure is very proclamatory, and the bright melody has the necessary repetitions to facilitate learning. The hymn concertato (see insert in this issue of RW) includes a soprano descant, a brass accompaniment, an alternate harmonization, and a brass fanfare that can be used in whole or in part throughout the month to provide variety from Sunday to Sunday.

Text Information:

James Montgomery (b. Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland, 1771; d. Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, 1854) wrote this text for Christmas 1821 as an ode based on Psalm 72. It was first published in its entirety (eight stanzas) in 1822 in Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible, and later that year Montgomery also published it in his Songs of Zion.

The son of Moravian parents who died on a West Indies mission field while he was in boarding school, Montgomery inherited a strong religious bent, a passion for missions, and an independent mind. He was editor of the Sheffield Iris (1796-1827), a newspaper that sometimes espoused radical causes. Montgomery was imprisoned briefly when he printed a song that celebrated the fall of the Bastille and again when he described a riot in Sheffield that reflected unfavorably on a military commander. He also protested against slavery, the lot of boy chimney sweeps, and lotteries. Associated with Christians of various persuasions, Montgomery supported missions and the British Bible Society.

He published eleven volumes of poetry, mainly his own, and at least four hundred hymns. Some critics judge his hymn texts to be equal in quality to those of Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley. Many were published in Thomas Cotterill's Selection of Psalms and Hymns (1819 edition) and in Montgomery's own Songs of Zion (1822), Christian Psalmist (1825), and Original Hymns (1853).

Liturgical Use:
Advent; Epiphany; Ascension celebrations; also suitable as a missionary song.

Tune Information:

ES FLOG EIN KLEINS WALDVOGELEIN, a German folk tune, was first published in an early-seventeenth-century manuscript collection from Memmingen, Germany. It later became a setting for Christopher Wordsworth's "O Day of Rest and Gladness" in George R. Woodward's Songs of Syon (1910 edition). The tune shares its opening motive and also its bar-form structure (AABA') with LOBE DEN HERREN. ES FLOG's combination of a sturdy tune and an able harmonization calls for energetic art singing that remains vibrant but not rushed.

Other Resources:

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

Copyright Information:

  • Words: James Montgomery, 1822, P.D.
  • Music (ES FLOG EIN KLEINS WALDVÖGELEIN 7.6.7.6 D): German; harm. George Ratcliffe Woodward, 1904, P.D.
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words and Music: both are in Public Domain. You do not need permission to reprint this song.

72B: Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun

Performance Notes:

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 72:5, 8, 17
st. 2 = Ps. 72:15
st. 3 = Ps. 72:10-11
st. 4 = Ps. 72:12-14
st. 5 = Ps. 72:19, Rev. 5:11-14

Isaac Watts based this hymn text on Psalm 72:12-19 and referred to verses 5 and 8 of the psalm as well. Originally in eight stanzas entitled "Christ's Kingdom among the Gentiles," the text was published in Watts' Psalms of David, Imitated (1719). The original stanzas 2, 3, and 7 are omitted, as is customary in modern hymnals.

Watts' text is a strong Christological interpretation of Psalm 72. We sing of the worldwide reign of Christ (st. 1), who is praised by all creatures (st. 2 and 5) , and whose rule results in blessings on people "of every tongue" (st. 3) and redemption for the outcasts (st. 4). The text has a strong missionary focus.

Liturgical Use:
Advent; Epiphany; Ascension; with mission themes; stanza 5 as a doxology.

Tune Information:

First published anonymously in Henry Boyd's Select Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes (1793), DUKE STREET was credited to John Hatton (b. Warrington, England, c. 1710; d, St. Helen's, Lancaster, England, 1793) in William Dixon's Euphonia (1805). Virtually nothing is known about Hatton, its composer, other than that he lived on Duke Street in St. Helen's and that his funeral was conducted at the Presbyterian chapel there.

A sturdy and much loved tune, DUKE STREET has a generic resemblance to TRURO (413,539) and to the African American gospel-style doxology (637). Sing stanzas 1 and 5 in unison; stanzas 2, 3, and 4 in harmony. The final stanza is a doxology that would be enhanced by a descant; it would also benefit from a stately tempo. Use strong and vigorous accompaniment with trumpets if possible.

 Other Resources:

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

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. Morningstar MSM-10-555 [2001]
  • Cassler, G. Winston. Organ Descants for Selected Hymns. Augsburg 11-9304 [1972]
  • Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations for Organ. bk. 3 Ludwig O-10 [1986]
  • Hancock, Gerre. Organ Improvisations for Hymn Singing. Hinshaw HMO-100 [1975]
  • Johnson, David N. Free Harmonizations of Twelve Hymn Tunes. Augsburg 11-9190 [1964]
  • 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]
  • Rawsthorne, Noel. 200 Last Verses. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0 86209 189 6 [1991]
  • Shaw, Geoffrey. The Descant Hymn Book bk 2. Novello
  • Sowerby, Leo. Ten Hymn Tune Descants. H.W.Grey CMR 2838 [1965]
  • 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:

  • Organ, Anne Krentz. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 [2000]

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Isaac Watts (1674-1748), 1719, P.D.
  • Music (DUKE STREET 8.8.8.8): John Hatton, 1793, P.D.
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words and Music: both are in Public Domain. You do not need permission to reprint this song.

72C: Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14, 18-19 A Responsorial Setting

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1083 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.

Other Resources:

  • To purchase an octavo arrangement of this Psalm that is written by Val Parker and published by Oregon Catholic Press.
  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Psalm 72:7
  • Music: J. Michael Joncas (b. 1951) © 1987, 1994 GIA Publications, Inc.
  • Psalm Text: from Evangelical Lutheran Worship © 2006 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, admin. Augsburg Fortress Publishers
  • Tone: © 2011 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Reprint Inforamtion for the Refrain:
    • 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.

 

  • Words: © 1969, 1981, 1997 International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation
  • Music: Val Parker © 2005 Val Parker, admin. OCP Publications
  • Tone: © 2011 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Reprint Information for the Alternative Refrain 1:
    • Words: please contact International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation
    • Music: please contact OCP Publications
    • Tone: Faith Alive Christian Resources gives you permission to reprint this Tone for use in a worship setting; please use the correct copyright line.

72D: Están en tu mano/In Your Hand Alone

Other Resources:

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

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Louis Olivieri; tr. Mary Louise Bringle (b. 1953), 2011, © Louis Olivieri
  • Music (HERMANAS JESÚS MEDIADOR): Pedro Escabí; arr. Marcus Hong © 2011 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Reprint Information: