Psalm 67: A paraphrase – Lord Bless and pity us (Church Hymnary 4 – CH4 45) Set to tune = CH4 594 Diademata (Crown him with many crowns) by Charles Litster
Lord, bless and pity us, shine on us with your face: that your way may be known on earth, all nations know your grace. Let people praise you, Lord; let all the people praise. Oh, let the nations all be glad, in songs their voices raise:
You’ll justly people judge, on earth rule nations all. Let people praise you, Lord; let them praise you, both great and small. The earth her fruit shall yield, our God shall blessing send. God shall us bless; all shall him fear unto earth’s utmost end.
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…