Possibly D.T. Niles learned this psalm setting in his ecumenical work, though he might also have learned it in his home country of Sri Lanka. The melody is identified as “Indien/Sri Lanka” in Thuma Mina, the International Ecumenical Hymnbook published in 1995 in Basel to encourage ecumenical singing with partner churches; the text there is published in German and English. The text provided here is in Tamil and English—Tamil is spoken predominately in South India and Northeast Sri Lanka. The Punjabi language is spoken by more than a hundred million people in Pakistan and India, and is the only tonal language among Indo-Aryan languages. This melody is still known and sung by Punjabi Christians, who most often sing it to another psalm. Geoff Weaver published his arrangement of this text in World Praise, published in Great Britain also in 1995; the text there was adapted from the original and is presented only in English except for the word “Saranam.”
Daniel Thambyrajah Niles (b. Telipallai, Ceylon, 1908; d. Vellore Christian Medical College, India, 1970) began studies in law at Ceylon Christian University, but changed his course of study to the ministry, due in part to a devout Hindu warden at the University who greatly influenced him. Niles was ordained in the United Methodist Church in 1932. After serving in Ceylon, he became the president of the East Asia Christian Conference (EACC), and later the evangelism secretary for the World Council of Churches in Geneva.
Geoff Weaver (b. 1943) is an internationally known church musician, having worked for the Church Mission Society in Hong Kong and in Selly Oak, Birmingham, from where he undertook teaching assignments in the Philippines and Nigeria, and published two volumes of World Praise.
He was Director of Music at Bradford Cathedral, and from 1994-2002 was Director of Studies and of Outreach at the RSCM.
In 1998 he directed the music at the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury, in 1999 was in charge of the music for the CMS bicentenary, and in 2000 directed a choir of 200 schoolchildren at the National Millennium Service at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
He has a passion for teaching, and has taught in theological colleges and ministerial training schemes, as well as diocesan training programs.
Overseas teaching and conducting assignments have recently taken him to Canada, USA, Australia, Cyprus and Switzerland.
Geoff Weaver Music (http://www.geoffweavermusic.com/)
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