A Text for Discussion: Hail the Long-Awaited Son
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,357
    Here is a text of mine that I offer for discussion.

    I welcome any comments, even the most critical. Let me own up to a fault right away: the off-rhyme of "green" and "stream" in verse 4.

    Of course I reserve the right to respond to comments, and hopefully others will join in as well, and we can all have a fruitful discussion. In the long run, perhaps we will learn to understand what we are all seeking in good hymnody.

    Hail, the long-awaited Son!
    Lord of all the realm to come.
    Deaf and blind and lame are healed,
    And God’s Kingdom is revealed.
    “Where, O Master, do you stay?”
    “Come and see,” we hear Him say.

    Let us go to where He stays,
    Hear His words and learn His ways,
    Leaving all we’d known before
    By the Jordan River’s shore;
    Ancient roads and deepest sea --
    Let us follow heedfully.

    Peace shall follow in His wake,
    Peace that all the stars did make.
    Peace He bought us with His blood,
    Life’s dear fountain, saving flood.
    Peace He breathed upon His own,
    Rising to the Father’s throne.

    Jesus, David’s righteous heir,
    King of justice, kind and fair,
    Lead your flock to pastures green
    By the ever-flowing stream,
    There the three-fold Name to praise
    Unto everlasting days.

    Copyright © 2005 CanticaNOVA Publications. Duplication restricted.
    Meter: 7.7.7.7.7.7 Suggested tune: Dix, or others:
    Ratisbon
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,409
    the off-rhyme of "green" and "stream" in verse 4.

    But no mention of "son" and "come" in the first two lines?

    Deaf and blind and lame are healed,
    And God’s Kingdom is revealed.

    Perhaps too many "and"s
    (It's really the last one, on an accent, the strikes me as.... beneath your usual talent.)

    HOWEVER.... after typing that, I went back and sang it to DIX (I had SALZBURG in my head from the beginning, but it has two extra 7s). That makes a lot more sense with the sing-songiness of DIX.


    ---
    I was going to go line-by-line through this, but... there's something about the whole thing I find problematic. I can't put my finger on it- which might be the problem, actually. This text doesn't come together for me- I'm just not sure what it's about. It has some nice lines, but it seems to ramble a bit.

    (In my opinion.)

    I could try to write a parody of it, if that would help clarify my point.



  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,357
    Parody away! (We need a purple button.)

    You are right about Son and come, and about the ands. The And works ok with DIX, and I'm in agreement with the generally-held convention that allows the first foot of any line to be more or less any meter. But 4 ands in two lines of 7 is a lot.

    I mean, there are other words. (purple)

    Generally, I think of this as a talk between a couple of the disciples in the early days.


  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,409
    Parody away!


    Something something Bible words
    Something else and saving Lord.
    Here's another image and
    God of sea and sky and land
    When should people sing this song?
    It's got stuff for all year long.

    (I'm sorry...a little.)
    Thanked by 2Kathy Gavin
  • I think we need something for all year long. Our choirs who cannot learn new music could sing and sing and sing and sing (and my choir would love all the "ands").
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,359
    I'm in agreement with the generally-held convention that allows the first foot of any line to be more or less any meter.

    Come again? No comprendo. Is there an authority you can cite for this "generally-held convention"? I'm not trying to be confrontational. I've just never heard anyone say this.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,357
    Oh, this goes way back.
    A spondee or an anapest may be used in the odd-numbered feet of the Latin hymns.
    http://www.cathcorn.org/hotbam/intro.html#met

    Common instances in English hymnody:

    Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
    Sometimes they strew his way and his sweet praises sing
    God's Word forever shall abide, no thanks to foes, who fear it
    Under the shadow of your throne

    etc. etc. etc.
    Thanked by 1a_f_hawkins
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,665

    Perhaps too many "and"s


    Deaf, blind, lame and sick are healed?
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,359
    I don't think the two statements are saying the same thing. First of all, your own statement supposedly had general applicability. The second statement is specifically about Latin hymns.

    We all know that Latin texts are much more "forgiving" when one goes outside the metrical scheme. Not so with English texts. In the four "common instances in English hymnody" you cite, some sound only "slightly wrong" when sung to some tunes but "very wrong" when sung to others. I'd say that with English hymn texts it's generally held that one should stick to the meter. Period.
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 858
    Change "and" to "now" and voila! It's perfect. Or at least it will fit in with all the other contemporary hymn writers!
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,357
    Fr. Krisman,

    I'm not trying to "catch" you on this, because I don't think it is a fault, but all these examples are from Worship IV.

    A 19th century theorist, Edwin Abbott Abbott, called this metrical freedom the "license of trochee." He said that after a pause, including at the first foot of a poetic line, a trochee could be substituted for an iamb.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,359
    Kathy, I provided what I consider a general rule of thumb ("Keep to the meter.") But I don't disagree with you about trochees sometimes replacing opening iambs in some English hymn texts. I myself referred to that during the past few days.

    But when that happens with an English text, we usually have a tune in our back pockets to fit the altered meter, such as DIADEMATA for the mostly-iambic "Crown Him with Many Crowns."
    Thanked by 2Kathy CHGiffen
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,685
    (1) I couldn't think of a melody for this until "Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman" came to mind, which makes it sound juvenile! But perhaps the tune spoke to me because so many of this poem's lines are made of one-syllable words.

    I'll have to look up DIX!

    (2)
    Peace that all the stars did make.

    I don't get that.

    (3) And I wish there were another .7.7 so that it could be sung to ST GEORGE'S WINDSOR.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,681
    I'd say that with English hymn texts it's generally held that one should stick to the meter.

    Can you please cite where it is generally held that one should stick with the meter? Or is this just your impression? There are many more examples than those cited by Kathy for me, at least, to dismiss them as anomalous.

    This occurs often enough that there are a number of Long, Common, and Short Meter hymn tunes which have the metrical pattern that ameliorates the substitution of a trochee for an iamb in the first foot of a line; in other words, the rhythm of the tune in, say, a four foot line is typically (L = long or half note; S = short or quarter note, in common time):

    L | S S S S | S S L
    e.g.
    Bristol (Ravencroft's Psalter, 1621), Rex Gloriosae (Andernach Gesangbuch, 1608), Windsor (Damon's Booke of Musicke, 1591), Durham (Ravencroft's Psalter, 1621), London New (Scottish Psalter, 1635, adap. Playford, 1671), York (Scottish Psalter, 1615), Balfour (Knowles, 18th cent.), Caithness (Scottish Psalter, 1635), Dundee (Scottish Psalter, 1615), Lynchburg (Hallstrom, 1941), Rushford (Ley, 1936),

    or
    L | S S S S | L L | L
    e.g. Old Hundredth (Bourgeois, 1551), Truro (Psalmodia Evangelica, 1789),

    or
    L S S | L L | S S L |
    e.g. Song 34 (Gibbons), Kedron (Southern Harmony, 1835), Graefenburg (Crueger, 1653), Lledrod (Welsh Hymn Melody, 1859), Marlow (arr. from Chetham's Psalmody, 1728)

    or
    L S S |L L | L L | L
    e.g. Duke Street (Hatton, 1793), Federal Street (Oliver, 1832), Jesu Dulcis Memoria (Andernach, 1608), St. Cross (Dykes, 1861), Naomi (Mason, 1836), Hamburg (Mason, 1824), Wainwright (1790), Mount Sion (Parker, 1886), Shaddick (Burt, 1941), St. Magnus (Clark, 1709), Holley (Hews, 1835)

    or, in Short Meter (3 foot line)
    L S S | L L | L
    e.g. Diademata (Elvey, 1868), Yattenndon 46 (Woolrich, 1899), Boylston (Mason, 1832), Silver Street (Smith, c. 1770)

    or
    L | S S S S | L
    e.g. St. Bride (Howard, 1762)

    A similar accommodation for the first foot occurs in triple meter, typically as:

    S S S | L S | L S |L
    e.g. Abends (Oakley, 1873), Angelus (Cantica Spiritualia, 1847), Armes (1875), Gardiner (1815), St. Agnes (Dykes, 1866), Grace Church (Pleyel, 1815), Pixham (Parker, 1901), Hursley (Vienna, 1774, adap. Dublin, 1884), Mendon (Dyer, 1828), Richmond (Haweis, 1792), Gerontius (Dykes, 1868), St. Crispin (Elvey, 1862), Beatitudo (Dykes, 1875), Lystra (Charles Wesley, Jr.), Sawley (Walch, 1860), Hesperus (Baker, 1866), Pentecost (Boyd, 1864), Maryton (Smith, 1874)

    or, in Short Meter (3 foot line)
    S S S | L S | L
    e.g. Nova Vita (Peace, 1914)

    Note: These are the tune names as given in The Hymnal 1940.

    Additional note: I wrote this without seeing subsequent posts to Fr. Krisman's post that I questioned.
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I immediately heard this to GETHSEMANE/REDHEAD 46, myself.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,357
    Fwiw, I had DIX in mind when writing it.

    "Peace that all the stars did make." This verse has a Trinitarian structure, and this is the line about the Father. Unlike some other cosmogonies, the Bible does not tell of a violent beginning of the world. God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. The world was created through the uncreated Word, by the peaceful speaking of a creative word.

    I intended a minor allusion to Creator alme siderum, and a major allusion to Psalm 33:6
    By the word of the Lord, the heavens were made
    By the breath of His mouth, all the stars.
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,468
    I'm certainly not studied in theology or hymnody, but since you asked for comment... Here it goes.

    I like many of your hymns Kathy. I'm having trouble with this one though. I too find the text childlike. After reading your commentary I understand what you were trying to convey, but I still don't personally relate to the hymn in that way. At first I thought it was a Christmas hymn, then I became confused as to what season this was written for. When you mentioned David, peace and stars I was back at Christmastime.

    I'm having difficulty with the phrase "kind and fair." This reminds me of a kindergarten teacher's traits.

    I've learned a great deal from these conversations.Thank you for putting your hard work up for criticism so that I can learn so much ( especially that I have no business writing a hymn!)
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,681
    FWIW, I have just posted in a separate thread my hymn tune McShane Duple (77. 77. 77) which seems to go well with Kathy's text.
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • Priestboi
    Posts: 154
    It really is a lovely text. Wouldnt want to change it. I doubt that anyone will notice the ands when sung. My 5c: “Witness deaf, blind, lame be healed, Kingdom of our God revealed ”, but as you see it also has its issues. I would rather leave this sort of thing in the hands of the professionals. Also seems like the Charlses tune fit nicely :D
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,332
    Very nice and lovely. However I have a question about the grammatical practice
    Of capitalizing "His". I am not sure but isn't it correct to capitalize proper
    names of God such as Him or He, but not possessives such as his?
    I will ask my wife who is an English major. In any case, it seems a bit
    affected.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,685
    I was suggesting ST GEORGE'S WINDSOR before (7.7.7.7 D), but thought it wasn't possible. Or is it?


    Hail, the long-awaited Son!
    Lord of all the realm to come.
    Deaf and blind and lame are healed,
    And God’s Kingdom is revealed.
    “Where, O Master, do you stay?”
    “Come and see,” we hear Him say.
    Let us go to where He stays,
    Hear His words and learn His ways.

    Leaving all we’d known before
    By the Jordan River’s shore;
    Ancient roads and deepest sea --
    Let us follow heedfully.
    Peace shall follow in His wake,
    Peace that all the stars did make.
    Peace He bought us with His blood,
    Life’s dear fountain, saving flood.

    Peace He breathed upon His own,
    Rising to the Father’s throne.
    Jesus, David’s righteous heir,
    King of justice, kind and fair,
    Lead your flock to pastures green
    By the ever-flowing stream,
    There the three-fold Name to praise
    Unto everlasting days.

    Thanked by 1Chrism
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,681
    chonak ...

    While this is technically possible, it has the unfortunate consequence of splitting the stanza structure of the hymn text at inconvenient places. Note, in particular how the "peace" theme of the original penultimate stanza is divided. The rise and fall of the the music doesn't fit the rise and fall of the text this way.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,357
    I found this thread in a search for this hymn,
    that I hadn't responded to a couple of great comments.

    Matthewj suggested "Deaf, blind, lame and sick are healed" as a possible substitute for my third line. That is actually a much closer expression for the Scripture it is based on: "So [Jesus] replied to the messengers, "Go back and report to John [the Baptist] what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor."

    Thanks too to Canadash for noticing the simplicity of tone. There are a couple of reasons for that. First, I wanted to capture the breathless simplicity of the early disciples when they left St John the Baptist to follow Jesus. And then I had in the back of my mind Psalm 23, which is made more explicit in the lines following "kind and fair." But it is less vocabulary-rich than many of my hymns. I love it when I can have a hymn use words like "exemplar" or "inestimably." On the other hand, some educated people who haven't liked any of my other texts have expressed interest in this.

    I've been criticized for the use of "kind" before in the context of translation, but there's no getting around the use of "clemens" in the Latin hymns. But here, "kind and fair" can definitely sound too precious, and I didn't catch that. I do think Jesus is fair in the sense of being a righteous judge who isn't swayed by hearsay--that is what I was trying to say. Many who are first shall be last, and many who are last shall be first. And I personally love the hymn "Fairest Lord Jesus," which remarks on Jesus' attractiveness. But the use of "kind and fair" together does make it sound like I was here saying Jesus is beautiful, and although He is, that isn't what I was saying here, and I didn't catch the connotation of that or of vague "niceness," esp when coupled with "kind."
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,357
    Also, my main hesitation with Chonak's very cool attempt at re-setting the text is exactly what CHGiffen says, the breaking up of the "peace" motif, which I had imagined to be a build up to Easter night according to John (in the context of the DIX tune). Too bad, because KG'sW is a great tune for the last Sunday of the liturgical year.

  • Kathy,

    Would you accept "Peace WHO all the stars did make", since you're making reference to God the Father. It currently reads as if the stars made peace, which isn't what you intend.