The flip side of "Over-used hymn tunes and hymns"
  • Following on the discussion about hymns that have been over used - which hymn texts or hymn tunes are rare or should in your opinion be rediscovered?

    It would be wonderful to have a master list which we could explore and discover some gems to introduce to our choirs and congregations.

    Let the games begin!
    Thanked by 2Carol CCooze
  • Starting with November / month of All Souls:
    * Ye Souls of the Faithful (Italian, trans. Fr. Caswall)
    * O Turn to Jesus, Mother, Turn (Slavic melody, text by Fr. Faber)
    * Help, Lord, the Souls (Samuel Webbe Jr, John Cardinal Newman text)
    Thanked by 2oldhymns JonathanLC
  • GOTTSCHALK: "Holy Ghost, with Light Divine"
    HAYDN: "All Glory Laud and Honor"
    RIGBY: "Hail Redeemer, King Divine"
    SAWSTON [the "soccer match tune']: "Faith of Our Fathers"
    Thanked by 1JonathanLC
  • Stimson,

    The "soccer match tune", surely, is Land of Hope and GLory?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,099
    No! on soccer's home turf it's Abide with me.
  • SAWSTON was included in the 1939 Westminster Hymnal, but only in an Appendix, where (to put it ever so gently) "a certain number of tunes whose merits lie chiefly in their associations have been retained." The Preface to the hymnal that "many tunes of the latter part of the nineteenth century are lacking in that virility and rhythmic interest which are so essential to a hymn-tune," offering the sturdy COLERAINE as the principal tune for "Faith of Our Fathers" (one I wouldn't mind seeing revived as an alternate to the familiar ST CATHERINE).

    Evidently SAWSTON was popular (or at least familiar) enough that Richard R. Terry, editor of the 1912 Westminster Hymnal, included it in the main part of the text. But he, like the editors of the 1939 edition, also included a more "virile" tune for the text (no tune name given) - evidently to no avail, judging from the later edition of the hymnal.

    Speaking of Terry, he has at least two tunes that I think would merit reviving at least as alternates to some old chestnuts. Both were included in the 1939 Westminster Hymnal. CORONA (for "Crown Him with Many Crowns," for over-used DIADEMATA) and HIGHWOOD, with its Elgarian breadth, for "O, Perfect Love" (in place of Barnby's rather maudlin O PERFECT LOVE).
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 272
    The appendix of the New Westminster hymnal contains a lot of tunes which have since been reinstated. The editors were pretty high handed.
    From the Church of Scotland hymnal I like Wiltshire for The Lord’s MyShepherd instead of overused Crimond.
    I’ve never heard Sawston sung at a soccer match in the UK but I have heard it played on bagpipes (bizarre)
    Thanked by 1JonathanLC
  • Well most of them belong in an appendix, IMHO.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,998
    Faith of our fathers, set to SAWSTON:
    Thanked by 1JonathanLC
  • O What the Joy and the Glory Must Be set to O Quanta Qualia A very beautiful text on the holy souls in Paradise
  • I second Jacob's offering!
    One thinks of 'O Come, All Ye Faithful' at Christmas
    One thinks of 'Jesus Christ Is Risen Today' at Easter
    One thinks of 'Oh, What Their Joy and Their Glory Must Be' at All Saints
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen JonathanLC
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,559
    I think ISTE CONFESSOR is an under-utilized tune. I like it with Christ the Fair Glory, but there are other texts that work.
  • O JESULEIN SÜSS and HELMSLEY are two tunes I feel could be used far more often.
    Thanked by 1JonathanLC
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,559
    I think of HELMSLEY as being a best-once-a-year type hymn for Advent I.
  • I wish I could hear "Hark! an awful voice is sounding" somewhere other than BBC broadcasts of Lessons and Carols. I don't remember the name of the tune.

    Deus tuorum militum is much fun, but I imagine that it could grow old.
    Thanked by 1JonathanLC
  • Carol
    Posts: 382
    I have never heard of this carol, but I have heard an "awful voice sounding" from time to time.
    Thanked by 1JonathanLC
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,559
    I wish I could hear "Hark! an awful voice is sounding"

    We sing it to EN VOX CLARA - but I don't think that's the most common tune.
    Thanked by 1JonathanLC
  • ...awful...

    Assuming that Chris is referencing 'Hark! A Thrilling Voice Is Sounding', as in the 1940, or 'Hark! A Herald Voice Is Sounding', as in The English Hymnal, the tune is Merton, which is an exemplary tune. I've never encountered ' awful voice...'.
    Thanked by 1JonathanLC
  • MarkS
    Posts: 236
    I never had either, but after deciding perhaps it wasn't a joke, I checked. The hymn tune is BATTY!
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen JonathanLC
  • Batty is an awful tune!
    It's like a pastiche of lines borrowed from other tunes.
    Thanked by 2MarkS CHGiffen
  • Fr. George Rutler assures us it is, originally, Hark! An Awful voice is sounding.

    Thanked by 1MarkS
  • oldhymnsoldhymns
    Posts: 113
    I did a little research by checking my collection of specifically Catholic hymnals and "awful" does seem to be the most widely used. It appears this way in the Book of Hymns (Ould), Parochial Hymn Book (Police), Arundel, Catholic Church (Tozer), Catholic Youth, St. Basil's, and Hymns for the Ecclesiastical Year.

    "Thrilling" is used in St. Cecilia's, St. Mark's, and Armagh. It is also used in the recently published St. Paul's Hymnal with the Merton melody (St. Paul's Choir School, Cambridge).

    "Herald" is used in the Parish Hymn Book and Westminster, both with the Merton melody.

    "Mystic" is used in St. Gregory's, Parochial (Rossini), and American Catholic Hymnals.

    and finally "Prophet's" is used in the Manual of Select Catholic Hymns and Devotions (Colonel).

    A fine recording of this hymn with the melody from St. Gregory's Hymnal has just been posted to
  • It's a 5th or 6th century Ambrosian hymn. I've seen two different versions of the Latin, but the one that appears to be getting used in these translations begins "Vox clara ecce intonat, obscura quaeque increpat", the 'title' being up to the comma ("Lo! A clear voice thunders").

    The translation in question appears to be from Edward Caswall in the 19th century. In his day, the word 'awful' could mean "inspiring reverential fear', which works.

    There are numerous translations. The hymn is traditionally used for Lauds during Advent.
  • ...could mean...

    It is, indeed, awful what has happened to the word 'awful'.
    I frequently think it in its original and logical sense, but quickly remember that it won't be taken in that sense.

    'Awful' isn't the only word to have suffered a transmogrification into awfulness.
    Even some awfully nice and fine words are no longer awful, but have become awful.
    Thanked by 1a_f_hawkins
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 163
    Here are a handful of music pieces that I think could use rediscovery as they are quite rare. These were sung by St. Mary's Choir in Akron Ohio till about the 1990's. The music director Ralph Jordan died in 1996. Other than Praise Ye the Father and O Salutaris Hostia they were never sung again. The church closed in 2010.

    More Love to Thee O Christ - Oley Speaks, Elizabeth Prentiss
    Grand Magnificat in C - Vincent Novello, arr by Emmerig
    Emmitte Spiritum tuum - Fr. Jos Schuetky
    Praise ye the Lord - J.B. Molitor, arr by B. Hamma
    Christ Our King - H. Maery
    Cantate Domino - F.J. McDonough
    Laudate Dominum - Cantate Domino - Montani
    Lauda Sion - G.T. Jouve, arr B. Hamma
    Ave Maris Stella - A.H. Rosewig
    Ave Maria - A.H. Rosewig
    Ave Maria - H. Millard
    Praise Ye the Father - Ch. Gounod, arr W. Rhys Hebert
    Juravit - William Card. O' Connell
    O Salutaris Hostia - J. Lewis Browne
  • Carol
    Posts: 382
    I wonder if the hymnal from St. Paul's in Cambridge MA available for purchase? I was there a few years ago for Britten's Lessons and Carols and was tempted to take a hymnal home with me, but I resisted the impulse. The boy's choir was magnificent, of course!
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 163
    Carol, it is not available, I inquired here last summer and the best I could do was get a copy of the hymn list.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • oldhymnsoldhymns
    Posts: 113
    At this point, The St. Paul's Hymnal, published by the St. Paul's Choir School in Cambridge, is available for use only by the parish. Who knows?--this could change in the future since it is a great resource for a wide variety of hymns for all occasions.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,299
    Well, I suppose that any composer/author of an unpublished work can make the claim that his or her work is under-used (the original subject of this discussion). But such claims invariably appear to be self-serving.
    Thanked by 1francis
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,554
    The St. Paul's Hymnal only debuted just over 2 years ago. As opposed to Hymns, Psalms and Spiritual Canticles (1st ed. 1975, 2nd ed. 1983).
    Thanked by 2Carol francis
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,002
    I am serving the One Holy (Roman) Catholic and Apostolic Church... God hath made meself for the purpose and I am much obliged. BTW... I have DOZENS of hymn tunes that sit in a box... that's as underused as it gets.
  • Underused -
    Union Seminary
    Thanked by 2MarkS irishtenor
  • Don9of11,

    The O'Connell Juravit is a trip... ever heard this?

    From the choir of St Mary in Massillon, OH, 1965
  • Underused -
    This Endris Nyght

    Denn des Vaters Sinn geboren with 'Ye Who Own the Faith of Jesus'.
    (See The English Hymnal, no. 218)
  • Nyack
    Margaret (Not to be confused with St. Margaret, the shmaltzed dreck of acappella groups everywhere)
    St. Clement
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,486
    Yes, NihilNominis, O'Connell's Juravit is still used in Boston from time to time. I've sung it at the cathedral, and one of our colleagues included it in a parish concert a few years ago:

    But I don't think it's really authentic unless the organ interlude in the middle is performed in the style of a circus calliope.
  • Also Kedron (Dare), one of the few old American folk hymns worthy of new life
  • Underused? -
    Morning Star...

    is one of the most charming tunes ever written and could be considered underused, except for the fact that it's only sung once a year, on Epiphany, to the only text which anyone ought ever to sing it.
  • Does anyone else know (or use) the tune TOMPTER?

  • Tomter,

    without a 'p', is found with the text, 'In the Cross of Christ I Glory', at no. 442 in The Hymnal 1982. It's really rather good, though as happens with a very few tunes it is in two keys. The first half is in F, and the second half in A.

    Where have you encountered this tune, Chris.
    (I'm assuming guardedly that with or without the 'p' it's the same tune.
  • Jackson,

    You're quite right about the spelling. My memory failed me -- not that this is an unusual occurrence.

    The man who wrote the tune, Bruce Neswick, was an early organ teacher of mine. I was impressed very early on when I encountered the tune, thinking it much more clearly represents an introspective approach to "In the Cross of Christ I glory". The other tune (whose name I forget) always strikes me as a bald attempt at pageantry, and an unsuccessful one at that.
  • Chris -

    Congratulations on your teacher!

    I noticed this treatment of 'In the Cross...' some years ago. It is far and away better than the maudlin and saccharine sing songy old Rathbun to which it is usually sung. Rathbun might well be also known as Old Hiccough.


    Here is another seldom (if ever) sung tune: it's Toc H, 88.88.88, by Martin Shaw, and is found at no. 500 in Hymns A & M Revised. The text is 'Go Forth With God! The Day Is Now'. The tune fits the text so well that it seems probable that it was written for it. Toc H certainly qualifies for a spot in a list of very unusual tune names. (Probably an interesting story behind it!) With just the right text it deserves to be sung.
  • SCIENTIA SALUTIS This tune by J. Steiner was paired with the text "Christ Is the World's Light" by Ted Marier in HPSC It is an odd Victorian tune that only grows stronger as the verses progress.
  • Any of the French diocesan hymn tunes--especially COELITES PLAUDANT which, at first glance, might seem outrageous, but those grand sweeping intervals and leaps really sing.
  • Not nearly enough: AGINCOURT
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 272
    Cross of Jesus by Stainer. Lovely used for Come thou long expected Jesus
    Glasgow (a very rousing psalm tune)
    Bishopthorpe (ditto)
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • I would love to hear DOMHNACH TRIONOIDE more
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,554
    I have so many tunes I'd like to hear more of (or at least hear) - quite a number from The Pius X Hymnal (the hymnal edited by Theodore Marier; not the Australian version)* and later related source. From Anglican sources, I love DANBY, which is lyrical and somewhat ambiguous in terms of metrical foot (that is, it's not emphatically iambic/trochaic), which can be magical when put in the service of a lovely text.

    That said, my judge of this is entirely from a congregant's point of view, not an instrumentalist - instrumentalists often itch for things that are interesting for them, but that act more like vocalises for singers (I am looking at you, FESTIVAL CANTICLE, among many others like you) that are not well-prepared and suited for the human voice.

    * E.g., Thou Art The Star of Morning set to JE SAIS VIERGE MARIE.
    Thanked by 2Carol CHGiffen