Ave maris stella, English, D
  • Felipe Gasper
    Posts: 804
    It’s trochaic, so use an D tune.

    Hail, O Star that brightly pointest
    toward the port of heaven,
    thou to whom as lowly maiden
    God’s own Son was given.
    When the holy salutation
    Gabriel had spoken,
    peace was truly shed upon us,
    Eva's bonds were broken.

    Bound by Satan's cruel fetters,
    health and vision needing,
    God will aid us, God will light us
    at thy gentle pleading.
    Jesus' tender, humble Mother,
    make thy supplication
    unto him who rightly chose thee
    at his incarnation;

    that, O spotless, matchless Maiden,
    passing meek and lowly,
    thy dear, precious Son may make us
    blameless, chaste, and holy.
    So now, on this earthly journey,
    aid our weak endeavor.
    Till in joy we gaze on Jesus,
    and rejoice for ever.

    Just a tweaking of the ( Athelstan Riley translation...which
    itself is, as Chris McC. once pointed out, a bit “precious”, but there
    are some nice spots, too, I think.

    It’s often said that we could use more Marian songs/hymns....maybe this
    would work?

    There is a doxology that doesn’t fit into the D scheme....are
    there any trochaic tunes out there?
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    As a side note, I've never quite understood the " D"-type indications I see at the bottom of some hymns. I figure it's an indication of the number of notes, or number of syllables, or number of beats… not sure. Would welcome any clarification here.
  • Felipe Gasper
    Posts: 804
    8 syllables on the first line
    7 syllables on the 2nd line
    8 syllables on the 3rd line
    7 syllables on the 4th line
    then “D”ouble the above, and you end up with one strophe of the text.

    What that system leaves out is the foot: iambic/trochaic, usually, but there could be dactyls, anapests, .... others?
  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 1,021
    Meter markings in hymnals refer to the text, not the notes in the tune. Tune that were written in a certain meter, but with multiple notes on some of the original text can be easily adapted to texts with more syllables. It is very important to give any such marriage of text and tune a test sing to make sure it's not too clumsy. IMO, a lot of this would be alleviated by a wider use of hymnody.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,576
    Steve: "very important to give any such marriage of text and tune a test sing"

    Like, say,
    Joy To The World (CM) == ANTIOCH
    Amazing Grace (CM) == NEW BRITAIN

    Joy To The World == NEW BRITAIN
    Amazing Grace == ANTIOCH

    The first is okay, the second maybe not.
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    Thanks, Felipe. And eft… I've seen the "CM" before… what does that mean?
  • WGS
    Posts: 279
    C.M. stands for Common Meter
    86. 86 - indicating the number of syllables of text in each line

    There is a very handy "Metrical Index" at the back of The Hymnal 1940. I'm sure many other hymnals have similar metrical indexes.
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    Okay, pardon me for being dense here (though please understand that usually this forum deals with chant and polyphony more than hymns)…

    "Common Meter" -- ? Joy to the World is 4/4, right (or perhaps 2/4)? And Amazing Grace is 3/4. But both are common meter?

    I've seen those "metrical indexes" (indices) before, but I'm still not sure what makes them "handy" as you say, WGS.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,921
    In this context, "meter" refers to the structure of the text only, without regard to any particular musical setting or its time signature.

    "Joy to the World" and "Amazing Grace" have the same meter: 8 syllables in the first line; 6 in the next; then 8; then 6. So you can swap their tunes and they do fit. Sometimes the results of such an exchange are just good for a laugh, but often enough, the results are decent, so it gives your congregation another text to sing on a familiar tune.
  • Felipe -
    I think this metrical version is very fine, indeed; and, not at all (as you suggest) 'precious'.
    From where did you cull it?
    What does 'just a tweaking' mean? If you altered it, it seems you did a nice bit of work.
    Still, could we see it 'untweaked'?
    Though some of the punctuation is questionable, the grammatical structure is wonderful - as is the cadence and imagery.
    This is quite obviously not the work of a contemporary poet.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,576
    Mark: "Joy to the World is 4/4, right (or perhaps 2/4)? And Amazing Grace is 3/4."

    No, not quite.
    Hymns have two parts, text and tune.
    The text is "Joy To The World ..." with Common Meter (86.86).
    The tune is ANTIOCH with music in 2/4.
    The text is "Amazing Grace ..." with Common Meter.
    The tune is NEW BRITAIN with music in 3/4.

  • Chonak: Good for a laugh, yes. I remember when I first discovered that you could swap Amazing Grace and the theme song to Gilligan's Island. :)
  • Felipe Gasper
    Posts: 804
    Jackson, the original text is here:

    The original is, which allows it to be sung with the chant melodies.