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The Hymns:   Hymn Trivia

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Hymn Trivia

First Hymn in English written for Public Worship.

  •   Behold the Glories of the Lamb (Isaac Watts, circa 1688).

Oldest Hymn for which we know the Author

  •   Shepherd of Tender Youth (Clement of Alexandria, circa 200).

Most Popular Hymn

  •   Amazing Grace is the runaway winner. Blessed Assurance is the runner up.

Hymns whose Authors never heard them Sung

  •   Abide with Me
  •   Beneath the Cross of Jesus
  •   Great God of Wonders
  •   Happy the Home When God Is There
  •   Into the Woods
  •   My Redeemer
  •   This Is My Father's World

Hymns written shortly before the Author's death

  •   Abide with Me
  •   All Creatures of Our God and King
  •   All Glory, Laud and Honor
  •   Forward! Be Our Watchword
  •   Holy, Holy, Holy
  •   Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
  •   This Is My Father's World

Hymns that first appeared in Novels

  •   Jesus Loves Me
  •   We Would See Jesus
  •   When Israel, of the Lord Beloved

Hymns written by Non-Christians

  •   All Hail to Thee, Immanuel
  •   Hail the Glorious Golden City

The Most Prolific Hymnist

Probably Frances Jane (Fan­ny) Crosby (1820-1915): she wrote over 8,000 hymns. It's said editors didn't want to publish so many hymns by the same lyricist in one book, so they asked her to use pseudonyms (she used over 200). For a list of Fanny's hymns that we have, click here.

Runners up for most prolific hymnist include Charles Wesley, George Matheson, and Isaac Watts.

Youngest Hymnist

Our guess is John Milton, who was 15 years old when he wrote Let Us with a Gladsome Mind. Runners up include:

  •   William Ralph Featherstone, 16, My Jesus, I Love Thee
  •   Anna L. Coghill, 18, Work, for the Night Is Coming
  •   Henry K. White, 19, When Marshaled on the Nightly Plain

Oldest Hymnist

The current contender is Fanny Crosby: The day before her death at age 95, she wrote her last hymn, to console a neighbor who had lost a child. Another work from Fanny's later years is The Blood-Washed Throng, whose words and music she wrote at age 86.

Blind Hymnists

  •   Fanny Crosby
  •   George Matheson
  •   William Walford
  •   Robert Williams

Nobel Prize winning Hymnist

  •   Rudyard Kipling (Literature, 1907)

Hymnists with well known Secular Achievments

  •   Adams, John Quincy 1767-1848 American President The Hour-Glass
  •   Adams, Sarah 1805-1848 Actress, poet Nearer, My God, to Thee
  •   Addison, Joseph 1672-1719 Writer, politician The Spacious Firmament on High
  •   Adolphus, Gustavus 1594-1632 King of Sweden Fear Not, O Little Flock
  •   Alcott, Louisa May 1832-1888 Poet A Little Kingdom I Possess
  •   Baring-Gould, Sabine 1834-1924 Writer Onward, Christian Soldiers
  •   Barton, Bernard 1784-1849 Poet Walk in the Light
  •   Bates, Katharine Lee 1859-1929 Poet The Kings of the East Are Riding
  •   Blake, William 1757-1827 Poet And Did Those Feet in Ancient Time
  •   Bowring, John 1792-1872 Diplomat, politician
  •   Bradford, William 1589-1657 Colonial governor And Truly It Is a Most Glorious Thing
  •   Bronte, Anne 1820-1849 Writer
  •   Browning, Elizabeth Barrett 1806-1861 Poet
  •   Bryant, William Cullen 1794-1878 Poet
  •   Bunyan, John 1628-1688 Author He Who Would Valiant Be
  •   Byrom, John 1692-1763 Poet, diarist Christians, Awake, Salute the Happy Morn
  •   Cambell, John D. S. 1845-1914 Politician
  •   Carlyle, Thomas 1795-1881 Writer, historian A Safe Stronghold Our God Is Still
  •   Chesterton, Gilbert Keith 1874-1936 Author O God of Earth and Altar
  •   Cowper, William 1731-1800 Poet
  •   Cox, Christopher Christian 1816-1882 Politician Silently the Shades of Evening
  •   Dwight, Timothy 1752-1817 College president
  •   Davies, Samuel 1723-1761 College president Great God of Wonders
  •   Dryden, John 1631-1700 Poet Come, Creator Spirit, by Whose Aid
  •   Emerson, Ralph Waldo 1803-1882 Poet We Love the Venerable House
  •   Gladstone, William Ewart 1809-1898 Statesman O Lead My Blindness by the Hand
  •   Grant, Robert 1778-1838 Statesman O Worship the King
  •   Gurney, Dorothy Frances 1858-1932 Poet O Perfect Love
  •   Hay, John 1838-1905 Statesman, diplomat
  •   Holmes, Oliver Wendell 1809-1894 Poet, teacher
  •   Johnson, James Weldon 1871-1938 Poet, diplomat, civil rights leader Lift Every Voice and Sing
  •   Keble, John 1792-1866 Poet, teacher
  •   Key, Francis Scott 1779-1843 Lyricist, Lawyer
  •   Kilmer, Joyce 1886-1918 Poet No Longer of Him Be It Said
  •   Lanier, Sidney 1842-1881 Poet
  •   Lowell, James Russell 1819-1891 Poet Once to Every Man and Nation
  •   Millay, Edna St. Vincent 1892-1950 Poet O God, I Cried, No Dark Disguise
  •   Milton, John 1608-1674 Poet
  •   Moore, Clement Clarke 1779-1863 Writer Lord of Life, All Praise Excelling
  •   Moore, Thomas 1779-1852 Poet, nationalist Come, Ye Disconsolate
  •   Park, John Edgar 1879-1956 College president We Would See Jesus
  •   Pope, Alexander 1688-1744 Poet Rise, Crowned with Light
  •   Raymond, Rossiter W. 1840-1918 Novelist, government official Morning Red
  •   Rossetti, Christina 1830-1894 Poet
  •   Scott, Walter 1771-1832 Poet That Day of Wrath
  •   Spenser, Edmund 1553-1599 Poet Most Glorious Lord of Life
  •   Stowe, Harriet Beecher 1812-1896 Author
  •   Tate, Nahum 1652-1715 Playwright, poet laureate While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks
  •   Tennyson, Alfred 1809-1892 Poet Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New
  •   Van Dyke, Henry 1852-1933 Professor, diplomat Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
  •   Whittier, John Greenleaf 1807-1892 Poet Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
  •   Winner, Septimus 1827-1902 Poet, composer Whispering Hope

John Wesley's singing rules for Methodists (he had a Method for everything!)

  •   Learn the tune.
  •   Sing them as they are printed.
  •   Sing all. "If it is a cross to you, take it up and you will find a blessing."
  •   Sing lustily and with a good courage.
  •   Sing modestly. Do not bawl.
  •   Sing in time. Do not run before or stay behind.
  •   Above all, sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this, attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually.

Source "The Cyber Hymnal"

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