This term I’m taking actually 2 classes that are each 4 1/2 weeks long. Right now it is “The History of Congregational Song.” A four week journey through 4,000 years of church music. Talk about a world wind tour! It’s been interesting. This past week especially as we were talking about music from the time of the Reformers. Our assignment for the week was to write 3 hymns in 3 different styles. The first was a Metrical Hymn based on one of the Psalms. Much in the style of John Calvin. The second in the style of Isaac Watts, also based on the Psalms. Lastly, a hymn in the style of Charles Wesley.
Below is my first attempt (and hopefully not the last) at a Metrical hymn based on Psalm 98. It is a long meter tune which means each line has to have 8 syllables. Right now it’s based on the Hamburg tune. Which if you were like me 3 hours ago you have no idea what that tune is. It’s better known to us today as “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”
Let us sing to God a new song
He has made a world of wonder
Salvation from His right hand strong
God’s gift known to those asunder
Righteousness revealed to nations
His lovingkindness bear in mind
Faithfulness to Israel’s stations
His Salvation for all mankind
Let’s shout joyfully to the Lord
Break forth and sing for joy, sing praise
With the harp let God be adored
With your voice let the praises raise
Let the trumpet’s blast, shout for joy
Blast the ram’s horn before the King
The sea resound, the world enjoy
Rivers clapping, mountains singing
For joy let them sing to the Lord
Who comes to judge in righteousness
With fairness those he has restored
Sing to God for all his goodness.
Not the best you’ll ever read, but hopefully not the worst either!