122. I Was Glad They Came to Call Me

Text Information
First Line: I was glad they came to call me
Title: I Was Glad They Came to Call Me
Versifier: Calvin Seerveld (1982)
Meter: 87 87 D
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Biblical Names & Places: David; Biblical Names & Places: Jerusalem; Return of Christ (4 more...)
Copyright: © Calvin Seerveld
Tune Information
Composer: Johann Schop, 1600-1665
Meter: 87 87 D
Key: F Major
Source: Harm. after Johann S. Bach, 1685-1750, from Cantata 147

Text Information:

A hymn of joy over Jerusalem, and a prayer for the peace of the city of God.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-5
st. 2 = vv. 6-9

This is one of fifteen "Songs of Ascents" (120-134) the Israelites sang as they went up to worship at the temple in Jerusalem. Psalm 122 must have been intended for the moment when the pilgrims reached the city: "Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem" (v. 2). The psalm hails Jerusalem as the city where the tribes may go up to worship at the LORD's temple and where the divinely chosen house of David rules in justice over God's people (st. 1). As such, Jerusalem (Zion) is the earthly center of the kingdom of God, the focal point of the worship, life, and security of God's covenant nation (other psalms of Zion are 46, 48, 76, 84, 87, 125, and 137). It is most fitting, then, that out of their love for Jerusalem the pilgrims conclude this song with a prayer for the city's peace (st. 2). Calvin Seerveld (PHH 22) versified Psalm 122 in 1982 for the Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
Beginning of worship; expressions of the church's commitment to the city or kingdom of God; prayer for the coming of the kingdom.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

JESU JOY is a form of the tune WERDE MUNTER, MEIN GEMUETE by Johann Schop (b. Hamburg [?], Germany, c. 1595; d. Hamburg, 1667). In 1614 Schop was appointed court musician in the Hofkapelle at Wolfenbüttel. A virtuoso violinist, he also played the lute, cornetto, and trombone. He became a musician for King Christian IV of Denmark in Copenhagen in 1618.

When the plague swept through Copenhagen, Schop fled to find employment elsewhere. In 1621 he settled in Hamburg, where he became the principal violinist for the city and organist at St. James Church. Exposed to various national music styles in Hamburg and in his travels, Schop became a cosmopolitan composer, well known for his dance suites, church concertos, and songs. He composed forty-nine new melodies for Johann Rist's Himmlische Lieder (1641-1643), including WERDE MUNTER (1642).

The melody gained popularity through Johann S. Bach's (PHH 7) famous harmonization of the tune in his Cantata No. 147 (1723). JESU JOY is a rounded bar form (AABA'). In communities where this tune is well known, it would be delightful to use the Bach organ arrangement as introduction, interlude (between the two stanzas), and postlude to the singing of the psalm; Bach's setting is in G major, and the hymnal setting is in F, so one or the other needs to be transposed to combine them. A song leader can conduct the entrances for the congregation.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

MIDI file: MIDI Preview
(Faith Alive Christian Resources)
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