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Thread: Ten Hymns We Should Stop Singing

  1. #91
    ff Fortissimo james's Avatar
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    One I do not like is that Search Me, O God which is to the tune of a Hawaiian melody. I remember an woman sang that so much certain people would mock her singing in the low moaning alto voice she had. We got tired of hearing her sing the same five certainly not more than six over and over. To this day another one, It Is Well, is another that was worn out by her.

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  2. #92
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    It's not always a great idea to take a lovely tune like "Finlandia" and make a hymn out of it. It's rather "symphonic" in nature and congregations may or may not be able to render it well. This goes along with the thesis that the best musical form for congregational singing is the STANDARD hymn -- a singable, not too complex tune well within the range of a typical soprano voice, with more or less typical chord structure which has been properly arranged for four-part voices.

    That said, there is a setting of Finlandia that appeared in a Christmas cantata we did several years ago to a poem titled "Celebrate His Name" that was based on Isaiah 9:6. The choir did a great job with it and the people loved it.

    Also, the hymnic theme plucked from "Jupiter" in Holst's Planets (AKA "Thaxted") makes a nice hymn tune, which the Brits use for "I Vow to Thee, My Country" and which we use for "O God Beyond All Praising."

    For the most part, hymns should consist of carefully written poetry that is theologically appropriate paired with a fitting melody that people can learn easily and sing well. We have a hymnal nearly full of such music!
    John
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  3. #93
    mf Mezzo-Forte afuller5's Avatar
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    James,

    While not trying to convince anyone to like a particular hymn, I do want to make some comments about "Search Me, O God." This hymn was written during an Easter Conference in Ngaruawahia, New Zealand by J. Edwin Orr. He heard the Maori native tune which starts "Now is the hour." He thought the melody was beautiful and moved to write Christian words to the tune.

    I will also add the 1976 and 1991 edition of the Baptist hymnal do not use that tune. They use the ELLERS which was composed my Edward J. Hopkins. This tune is most frequently used for "Savior, Again to Thy Dear Name."

    I personally to not like "Search Me" sung to the tune ELLERS simply because the words were written specifically the fit the Maori tune.

    Oh, another old hymn that uses a popular tune is "He Lives on High" which uses the tune of the Hawaiian "Aloha 'Oe."

    Later,
    Allen

    Quote Originally Posted by james View Post
    One I do not like is that Search Me, O God which is to the tune of a Hawaiian melody. I remember an woman sang that so much certain people would mock her singing in the low moaning alto voice she had. We got tired of hearing her sing the same five certainly not more than six over and over. To this day another one, It Is Well, is another that was worn out by her.

    James
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  4. #94
    fff Fortississimo davidecasteel's Avatar
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    One of the 3 tunes I know for "Away In A Manger" is AFTON WATERS, the tune of "Flow Gently, Sweet Afton" (a song we kids sang in school when I was young). If you want to see a strange reaction of the congregations, schedule the Hymn "O Happy Day" (tune name HAPPY DAY). About the middle of the second verse some of the folks will start to smile, and then eventually most will realize they're singing the tune of "How Dry I Am" (but, IIRC, the Hymn used the tune first). And, of course, there is "Let All Things Now Living" sung to the tune of "The Ash Grove".

    I have always chuckled at the tune name ELLESDIE, which I would pronounce "LSD". I see it has been left out of the current UMC Hymnal, but once was used for "Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken" (I see we don't have that text any more, either). The tune was written by Mozart.

    And I've always wished someone could write suitable words to the main theme of the 2nd Movement of Beethoven's "Pathetique" Sonata--that tune reduces me to a puddle, and crying. (I once made a start, and got as far as "God is love--I know that God is love" but inspiration failed at that point.)

    David

  5. #95
    ppp Pianississmo mkillion's Avatar
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    Maybe you should ask the congregation what they think.

    Our Presbyterian church did an experiment a few years ago. Four weeks before Pentecost, the bulletin included an insert asking those in attendance to write down their 5 favorite hymns (non-Christmas). They didn't even have to be hymns in the current hymnal. They got to vote every Sunday...5 choices. If they were in attendance for all 4 weeks, they got 20 votes. Then, on Pentecost, it was an all music service...as we played back the 15 most popular hymns.

    The bulletin on that Sunday included the history behind the hymns and the sanctuary was packed. We now plan this event regularly.

  6. #96
    ppp Pianississmo pcentral68's Avatar
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    Just to add a few more hymns to my "list" (no offense to anyone who likes these):

    1. "Earth and All Stars"...innanimate objects singing God's praise doesn't make sense to me. I don't want to sing about test tubes in church. I live in a dying steel town...singing about engines and steel and loud clanging hammers doesn't seem right given the many I know who once worked in the mills but are now unemployed.

    2. "All Things Bright and Beautiful"...By the 4th verse, I get it, God made everything. But what about those "less desirable" creatures, like mice, mosquitoes, etc.? No verse for them?

    3. "I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry?"...I take issue with replacing God with "I". The singers sound as though they are God. (I'm sure there other hymns that do this as well that I can't recall at the moment, but this one seems to me the most blatant.)

    4. "Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore"...it feels like it will never end, especially when played on the organ.

    5. "I am the Bread of Life"...a very difficult tune to sing without a song leader or choir. Every verse has different timing.

    End rant!

  7. #97
    fff Fortississimo davidecasteel's Avatar
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    pcentral68, how about "God of Concrete, God of Steel"? It's sung to ARFON MINOR.

    God of Concrete

    Words: Frederick R.C. Clarke
    and Richard Granville Jones


    God of concrete, God of steel,

    God of piston and of wheel,

    God of pylon, God of steam,

    God of girder and of beam,

    God of atom, God of mine:

    all the world of power is thine.


    Lord of cable, Lord of rail,

    Lord of freeway and of mail,

    Lord of rocket and of flight,

    Lord of soaring satellite,

    Lord of lightning’s flashing line:

    all the world of speed is thine.


    Lord of science, Lord of art,

    Lord of map and graph and chart,

    Lord of physics and research,

    Word of Bible, Faith of church,

    Lord of sequence and design:

    all the world of truth is thine.


    God whose glory fills the earth,

    gave the universe its birth,

    loosed the Christ with Easter's might,

    saves the world from evil’s blight,

    claims us all by grace divine:

    all the world of love is thine.



    David
    (I've always thought it would be a good Hymn for Labor Day....)
    Last edited by davidecasteel; 04-01-2018 at 07:27 PM.

  8. #98
    ppp Pianississmo pcentral68's Avatar
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    David, I'm not familiar with that one! At least it's not all of those things praising God. But it probably wouldn't be a favorite of mine, but the fact it talks about steam and tail is a plus in my book! Thank you for sharing it.

  9. #99
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidecasteel View Post
    pcentral68, how about "God of Concrete, God of Steel"? It's sung to ARFON MINOR.

    God of Concrete

    Words: Frederick R.C. Clarke
    and Richard Granville Jones
    David,

    What were Freddie & Dickie smoking?!!! I'd be curious when it was copywritten. It sounds like something that may have been written for the WPA during the Great Depression.

    Michael
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  10. #100
    fff Fortississimo davidecasteel's Avatar
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    I first encountered this Hymn in the military Service Hymnal shared by all services. It is not in our current UMC Hymnal. It was copyrighted in 1969, according to hymnary.org, but the tunes associated with it do not include ARFON MINOR, which is what the service Hymnal used.

    David

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