202. Song of Jonah

Text Information
First Line: In the fish for three days buried
Title: Song of Jonah
Versifier: Calvin Seerveld (1982)
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: 87 87 D
Scripture: Jonah 2; Matthew 12:40; Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:20; Revelation 1:18; Revelation 1; Romans 8; Jonah 2:10
Topic: Biblical Names & Places: Jonah; Biblical Names & Places: Satan; Deliverance (4 more...)
Language: English
Copyright: © Calvin Seerveld
Tune Information
Composer: John Ambrose Lloyd, 1815-1874
Meter: 87 87 D
Key: g minor

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Jon. 2:14
st. 2 = Jon. 2:5-6
st. 3 = Jon. 2:7-9
st. 4 = Matt. 12:40 1 Cor. 15:20-28 Rom. 8:9-11 Rev. 1:17-18

Paraphrasing Jonah 2, Calvin Seerveld (PHH 22) wrote "Song of Jonah" in 1982 for the Psalter Hymnal. Long-known in medieval liturgies as one of the "lesser" Old Testament canticles, Jonah's song is a psalm of thanksgiving similar in literary form and theme to Psalms 18, 30,116, and 138, to give just a few examples. Jonah recalls his prayer for help to God, testifies that God answered his prayer and rescued him from drowning (st. 1-2), and honors his vow to praise and thank the LORD (st. 3). Seerveld also included a fourth stanza to capture New Testament references related to the Jonah story, especially in terms of the death and resurrection of Christ: Matthew 12:38-40; 1 Corinthians 15:20-28; Romans 8:9-11; and Revelation 1:17-18.

Liturgical Use:
Worship services focusing on Jonah; Easter Vigil; Easter Sunday.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

[Hymnary Editor's note: EIFONYDD was not first published in Lloyd's Casgliad o Donau (A Collection of Tunes) as stated, but was published in John Robert's Llyfr Tonau Cynulleidfaol (1859), correction provided by Bert Polman, PsH Handbook editor]

John Ambrose Lloyd (b. Mold, Flintshire, Wales, 1815; d. Liverpool, England, 1874) first published EIFIONYDD in his Casgliad o Donau (A Collection of Tunes) in 1843. The tune later appeared in Ieuan Gwyllt's (John Roberts's) important tune book Llyfr Tonau Cynulleidfaol (1859). Largely self-taught, Lloyd was a major presence in the Welsh music scene of his day. He was an adjudicator at the National Eisteddfodan (singing festival) in Wales and at other choral festivals and was founder of the Welsh Choral Union of Liverpool. Lloyd composed three cantatas, including The Prayer of Habakkuk, and published two collections of hymn tunes: Casgliad o Donau (1843) and Aberth Moliant (1870).

Joseph Parry (PHH 18) judged EIFIONYDD the best hymn tune by a Welsh composer. The tune is named after a district in North Wales famous for its poets during the nineteenth century. In rounded bar form (AABA') and in minor tonality, the tune is eminently suited to part singing, though that may be reserved for stanza 3b and stanza 4. The final stanza could conclude with a Picardy third (a raised third on the final chord). Another option (unusual, but not unheard of with other Welsh tunes) is to shift to G major for the entire fourth stanza! That may require a bit of practice on the part of the organist and choir, however, and should follow only a suitable interlude that indicates clearly the change to major tonality.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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