Please note that if you sing the hymn "Watchman, tell us of the night" at Epiphany, or at any other time of the year, that there is a very serious author/composer synergy available to you.
In the previous edition of the Episcopal Hymnal, the Hymnal 1940, the tune WATCHMAN is one of the two tunes paired with this text. This tune is fondly remembered by at least one parishioner in the parish where I presently serve.
The words are by John Bowring. The music is by Lowell Mason.
Bowring was born in 1792. Mason was also born in 1792.
Bowring died in 1872. Mason also died in 1872.
Clearly the similitude of lifespans is a strong argument for this text-tune pairing.
And this might be notable on its own, but that's not all.
If you sing the hymn "Where is this stupendous stranger?" to the hymn tune ST. THOMAS – as Ana Hernández suggests you do – you'll notice some more hymnodic synergy. (The text and tune are both included separately in the Hymnal 1982).
The tune ST. THOMAS is by John Francis Wade (1711-1786) and harmonized by Vincent Francis Novello (1781-1861). They have the same middle names, and they shared six years on earth.
Epiphany is January 6.
Coincidence? You decide.
Labels: Hymnal 1940, Hymnal 1982, hymns
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