Which clock in Scotland shows 61 minutes on its dial?

Crimond, Kirk Clock Note there are 6 minutes between XI and XII

The answer, of course, is Crimond.  That is a village in the northeast of Scotland.  It is nine miles northwest of Peterhead and just over two miles from the coast.

The challenge I have is not with the time but the tune. 

Not many people know that the tunes to hymns (songs) are named after the community and/or Kirk (Church) that they were written in. 

The Late Rev Bob White did say in his sermons that these tunes were pop songs of the day.  Ever since the age of ten, I have wanted to make Crimond a pop song.  I must admit that this was much to the annoyance of my classically trained music teacher.  From memory, I think her reaction was…

“If you really must Charles, but that is not as it is written and you have an exam to pass”

So what is all the fuss about one tune? Simply it was written by Jessie Seymour Irvine (born 1836 – died 1887).  She was the daughter of a Church of Scotland minister who served at Dunottar, Peterhead, and Crimond, Scotland.  Jessie is referred to by Ian Campbell Bradley in his 1997 book Abide with Me. 

The crunch is that the song ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd’ is set to that tune.  As such it is well known and often sung at funerals and weddings.  Words were written by Francis Rous, who was born at Halton, Cornwall, in 1579, and educated at Oxford. His career the legal profession, and M.P.   He took the words from the Bible – Psalm 23 and set it to verse.  Here are the lyrics…

Tune Cramond CH4 14 (1) and (2)

1 The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want;
he makes me down to lie
in pastures green; he leadeth me
the quiet waters by.

2 My soul, he doth restore again,
and me to walk doth make
within the paths of righteousness,
e’en for his own name’s sake.

3 Yea, though I walk through death’s dark vale,
yet will I fear none ill,
for thou art with me; and thy rod
and staff me comfort still.

4 My table thou hast furnished
in presence of my foes;
my head thou dost with oil anoint,
and my cup overflows.

5 Goodness and mercy all my life
shall surely follow me;
and in God’s house forevermore
my dwelling place shall be.

I now have an introduction, but the challenge is a new arrangement of Crimond.   

Meanwhile, there are these other tunes that you can use

For a modern rendition but not to the words above try Mission Praise 1008.

* CH4 Church of Scotland Hymnary 4th Edition



Oh for a closer walk with God

Is a beautiful hymn written by hymnodist William Cowper (26 November 1731 – 25 April 1800).   Not only did he write hymns – he studied them too – hence the term hymnodist as opposed to hymn writer.   As a writer of hymns, he had another talent, he was a well-known poet.  One of his poems being “The Negro’s Complaint”   which was often quoted by Dr. Martin Luther King Junior as part of the 20th Century Civil Rights movement.

At the age of six years William’s mum Ann died giving birth to his brother, John.  This was the start of a lifetime of challenges and woes.  His mental health being poor at times to the extent he was institutionalized.   At one point it is said he tried to commit suicide.  Born a son of an Anglican clergyman, he studied for the law.  The prospect of a law exam (I must say any law exam is difficult – it is the exceptions to the rule and the volume of laws that is the issue) that he was so intimidated that he attempted suicide.

It is rumoured that he attempted to do so by drowning in the River Ouse.  He hired a horse-drawn coach/taxi driver to take him to his favourite part of River.  The driver just could not find it.  William returned home – his suicide attempt dashed by the unwitting actions of a poor driver.  It was if God had a hand in returning William safely to his home.

However, he did become a member of the Bar and in 1763 he was offered a Clerkship of Journals in the House of Lords.  Sadly,  that became a challenge for him.

As it happens he met Mrs. Mary Unwin at some point between 1763 and 1779 and they both became life long friends.  After moving to Olney Mary became seriously ill.  So serious that William was worried that she might die.  Cowper began to experience severe depression again.  During that crisis, he was inspired to write the verse for “O for a Closer Walk with God”.   That action of creation comforted him in his hour of distress.

A day after he wrote to his Aunt about the hymn verses…

I began to compose them yesterday morning before daybreak, but I fell asleep at the end of the first two lines. When I awaked again, the third and fourth verses were whispered to my heart in a way I have often experienced.”

Fortunately, Mary recovered from her illness, which if she had not experienced – the words of this great hymn may never have been penned…

1 Oh for a closer walk with God,
a calm and heav’nly frame,
a light to shine upon the road
that leads me to the Lamb!


2 Where is the blessedness I knew
when first I sought the Lord?
Where is the soul-refreshing view
of Jesus and His Word?

3 What peaceful hours I once enjoyed!
How sweet their mem’ry still!
But they have left an aching void
the world can never fill.

4 Return, O holy Dove, return,
sweet messenger of rest;
I hate the sins that made Thee mourn,
and drove Thee from my breast.

5 The dearest idol I have known,
whate’er that idol be,
help me to tear it from Thy throne
and worship only Thee.

6 So shall my walk be close with God,
calm and serene my frame;
so purer light shall mark the road
that leads me to the Lamb.



Songs for Psalm 26

Finding something appropriate for Psalm 26 was a challenge but after some research I did it.  First of all, let us start with the text…

Psalm 26

Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide.

Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.

I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.

I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.

I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O Lord:

That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.

Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house and the place where thine honour dwelleth.

Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men:

10 In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes.

11 But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me.

12 My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the Lord.

For this I found the following possible songs…

Hymn CH4 Take this Moment  Verse 1 for para 8. John L. Bell (b. 1949) and  Graham Maule (b. 1958)    See… https://hymnary.org/hymn/CH4/501

But in the end, I settled on ‘Oh for a closer walk with God’, admittedly not a complete fit but a well-known choice.   

if you are searching for this in hymn books it can also appear as “O for a closer walk with God”

Hymn MP 494 Oh for a closer walk with God tune = (Beatitido) see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxZesDYGd0Y

But the version I used was CH4 552  Oh for a closer walk with God https://hymnary.org/hymn/CH4/552a

Other possibilities


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