Treasure No 42: The Hymn Today

When people first started talking about ‘modern hymns’ in the late 1950’s they usually meant that they had found a 1930’s ballroom number for ‘Holy, holy, holy’ or a 1940’s pantomime tune for ‘The Church’s one foundation’. There were few new texts to challenge the mind, and most of the ‘modern’ tunes were ephemeral. Today, less than twenty years later, …

Treasure No 40: Easter Joy

Can it simply be a matter of space to be filled, with forty days of Lenten penitence and seven days of Holy Week, followed by Easter Day and its octave? This hardly accounts for the shortage. The Church traditionally keeps forty days of Easter up to the Ascension: then at Ascensiontide, with only ten days in which to use it, …

Treasure No 39: The Titanic Hymn

The present note summarises these contributions to what is a surprisingly involved problem, and suggests a new answer. It has long been believed that the hymn was Nearer my God to Thee, and the musical establishment of the time thought that the tune was Dykes’s HORBURY. A ‘Titanic Band Memorial Concert’ in the Royal Albert Hall on Empire Day 1912 …

Treasure No 35: Hymn Writing Today

A poet writes to please himself and to satisfy his creative impulse. If he wants his poetry to be read, and therefore to be published, he will be compelled to give some thought to the problem of communication, to ‘getting it across’, but this will be for him a secondary matter. The hymn-writer, on the other hand, is primarily concerned …