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The Wesleys

This concert was developed in 2003 for the 300th anniversary of the birth of John Wesley. We hand out a word sheet so that the audience may join in with several of the hymns and Psalms.

Psalm 133 is known as the Fellowship Psalm, and was used by all Friendly Societies. We sing it from the New Version of Tate and Brady to the tune Lydia, attributed to Thomas Phillips (1735-1807).

Lyngham tune is by Thomas Jarman (1776-1861). O for 1000 tongues to sing was published in Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1740. We sing a selection from the original 18 verses.

Behold the Saviour of mankind was written by Samuel Wesley (1662-1735), the paper on which it was written reputedly being blown out of the Epworth rectory fire. Burford tune first appeared in 1717 and was reprinted in the Foundery Collection of 1742. We arranged the music to illustrate early 2-part singing and later 4-part ornamented singing.

Daisey Hill tune is probably named for Daisey Hill Chapel, Dewsbury. The words were published in Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1742.

Amsterdam tune appeared in the Foundery Collection, 1742, adapted from a Moravian tune, and we sing the words set there. Our harmonisation is from the Sacred Harp, 1844.

Crucifixion tune, originally called Good Friday Hymn, is by Samuel Akeroyde and appeared in Henry Playford's Divine Companion of 1701. The words are from Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1739.

We know Birmingham tune from an earlier manuscript (MS) from Shropshire, but here we sing it as in the Centenary Tune Book of 1892, with Isaac Watts' paraphrase of Psalm 103.

Westminster tune is based on Purcell's Fairest Isle from King Arthur, 1691. Love Divine is from Hymns for Those that Seek and Those That Have Redemption in the Blood of Jesus Christ, 1747, set to this tune in 1754.

An Anthem taken from Psalm 46 is from a MS from Catsfield in Sussex. Attributed to J. Waters in Village Harmony, ca. 1813, published in New Hampshire, a collection which borrows freely from British sources, but sometimes with erroneous attributions. We have not yet found a printed source in England.


Chandler’s Sacred Catch is from the Andrews MS. Started in Hyde, Winchester, it went to Australia about 1850 and returned to Winchester Cathedral Library about 1990. The words are from Isaiah Chap. 55 v1.

Aberfeldy tune is from the Scottish tune book compiled for use with theScottish Psalms in Metre of 1633. The words are part of the Scottish paraphrase of Psalm 145. Certain verses are commonly used at Rogation and Harvest.

Vital Spark or Pope’s Ode is a setting by Edward Harwood (1707-87) of a poem by Alexander Pope (1688-1744), his translation of a Roman text. It became very popular, and no village funeral was complete without it. Our setting is partly from Harwood’s original 3-part version of 1770, and partly from a 4-part MS version from Widecombe, which has showy instrumental parts decorating the finale.

Sagina tune was published by Thomas Campbell (1777-1844) in The Bouquet, 1825, in which all the tunes are named after flowers. Sagina is an inconspicuous white rock plant. We sing the words he originally set.

Denbigh is Isaac Watts’ paraphrase of Psalm 117 set to music by Rev. Martin Madan (1725-90). He was Chaplain of the Lock Hospital, for which he published collections of music in parts. Denbigh appeared in 1769

Hotham tune is also by Rev. Martin Madan, from the Lock Hospital Collection in 1760.

Easter Hymn tune appeared in Lyra Davidica in 1708, and in the Foundery Collection in 1742 with the name Salisbury.

Georgia is Handel's music for See the conquering hero comes, from Judas Maccabaeus, 1746. Thomas Butts published it with the Easter words in 1754, and it was used with at least a dozen others subsequently. It is now often used for Thine be the glory (1884).

The music of the Old 113th tune is from John Playford's Whole Book of Psalms, 8th edition,1729. The words are Isaac Watts' second paraphrase of Psalm 146, from 1719.

We use a medley of tunes for All hail the power of Jesu's name. The words are by the Wesley's friend Edward Perronet (1726-92). Tunes: Miles Lane by William Shrubsole (1760-1806), 1779. Diadem by James Ellor (1819-99). All Hail! by Mike Bailey, 2002.

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