Hymn of the Week #17
By: Dennis Keller
Music: Lauda Anima (John Goss)
Text: Psalm 103, para. by Henry F. Lyte (1863)
Praise my soul the King of heaven, to the throne thy tribute bring;
ransomed, healed, restored forgiven, evermore God’s praises sing.
Alleluia, Alleluia! Praise the everlasting King.
Praise the Lord for grace and favor to all people in distress;
praise God still the same as ever, slow to chide and swift to bless.
Alleluia, Alleluia! Glorious now God’s faithfulness.
Father-like, God tends and spares us; well our feeble frame God knows;
mother-like, God gently bears us, rescues us from all our foes.
Alleluia, Alleluia! Widely yet God’s mercy flows.
Angels in the heights adoring, you behold God face to face;
saints triumphant, now adoring, gathered in from every race.
Alleluia, Alleluia! Praise with us the God of Grace.
Melody: While this hymn text is most often sung to Lauda Anima, it also fits with the well-known tune of Regent Square (“think” - Angels from the realms of Glory). Lauda Anima was composed by John Goss in 1869 for this text. It was first published in The Supplement of Hymn and Tune Book in that same year. Goss was born in 1800 in Faraham, England (died in 1880), where his father was chapel organist. His professional career was entirely in the church as: tenor; organist; and choir master. In 1827 he was appointed professor of music harmony at the Royal Academy of Music, where he stayed for 47 years! He was knighted in 1872 and earned a Doctorate in Music from Cambridge in 1876. One of his most successful students was the famous Sir Arthur Sullivan (yes, that one of the Gilbert and Sullivan fame!). He write a book on Music Harmony which served as the backbone of instruction as it went through 13 editions. It was said of his music that it is “always melodius and beautifully written for the voices, and is remarkable for a union of solidity and grace, with a certain unaffected native charm”.
Text: Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) was born in Scotland, and was a gifted poet, winning three prizes while at Trinity College, Dublin. He intended to be a doctor but was led into the Christian ministry, ordained in 1815 and served in small parishes throughout his ministry. He died of tuberculosis in Nice. This hymn text is one of two paraphrases of Psalm 103. The original hymn had five stanzas (the fourth being left out of our hymnal)