Music Notes for July 24, 2022

Hymn of the Day “Lord, teach us how to pray aright” ELW 745
Text: James Montgomery (1771-1854)
Tune: SONG 67, Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)

Written in 1818, and first printed on a broadsheet with Montgomery's "Prayer is the soul's sincere desire;“ “What shall we ask of God in prayer?" and "Thou, God, art a consuming fire ;" for use in the Nonconformist Sunday Schools in Sheffield. This hymn, in full or abridged, is in numerous collections. The variations of text which are found have arisen in a great measure from some editors copying from Cotterill's Selection of 1819, and others from the Christian Psalmist of 1825.

SONG 67 was published as a setting for Psalm 1 in Edmund Prys's Welsh Llyfr y Psalmau (1621). Erik Routley suggests that the tune should be ascribed to Prys. Orlando Gibbons supplied a new bass line for the melody when it was published with a number of his own tunes in George Withers's Hymnes and Songs of the Church (1623). There it was a setting for the sixty-seventh song (thus the title), a paraphrase of Acts 1:12-26. The tune originally had "gathering" (long) notes at the beginning of each of the four phrases. A rather sturdy tune, SONG 67 is built on a few melodic motives.