475. Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven

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1 Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;
to his feet your tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
evermore his praises sing.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise the everlasting King!

2 Praise him for his grace and favor
to his people in distress.
Praise him, still the same as ever,
slow to chide, and swift to bless.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Glorious in his faithfulness!

3 Fatherlike he tends and spares us;
well our feeble frame he knows.
In his hand he gently bears us,
rescues us from all our foes.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Widely yet his mercy flows!

4 Angels, help us to adore him;
you behold him face to face.
Sun and moon, bow down before him,
dwellers all in time and space.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise with us the God of grace!

Text Information
First Line: Praise, my soul, the King of heaven
Title: Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven
Author: Henry Francis Lyte (1834, alt.)
Meter: 87 87 87
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Scripture: ; ;
Topic: King, God/Christ as; Praise & Adoration; Alternative Harmonizations (5 more...)
Tune Information
Composer: John Goss (1869)
Meter: 87 87 87
Key: D Major

Text Information:

Scripture References:
all st. = Ps. 103

One of two hymn texts that Henry F. Lyte (PHH 442) based on Psalm 103, this text was published in Lyte's Spirit of the Psalms (1834) in five stanzas. Following the pattern of many modern hymnals, the Psalter Hymnal omits the original fourth stanza.

This text captures the spirit of Psalm 103: sing praise to the King who redeems us (st. 1 = w. 1-4); praise him for his steadfast love (st. 2 = vv. 6-10); praise him for his compassion (st. 3 = w. 13-14); let angels and all creatures praise God (st. 4 = w. 20-22). The text contains a number of memorable lines: "Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven" (st. 1); "slow to chide and swift to bless" (st. 2); "Father-like he tends and spares us" (st. 3). (See additional notes about the psalm at 103.)

Liturgical Use:
See suggestions for use at PHH 103; other settings of Psalm 103 are at 297, 583, and 627.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

John Goss (PHH 164) composed LAUDA ANIMA (Latin for the opening words of Psalm 103) for this text in 1868. Along with his original harmonizations, intended to interpret the different stanzas, the tune was also included in the appendix to Robert Brown¬ Borthwick's Supplemental Hymn and Tune Book (1869). LAUDA ANIMA is one of the finest tunes that arose out of the Victorian era. A reviewer in The Musical Times, June 1869, said, "It is at once the most beautiful and dignified hymn tune which has lately come under our notice."

Try singing in concertato fashion: the unison stanzas sung by the congregation and stanza 2 as well as the original stanza 4 (see below) sung by the choir in harmony, preferably unaccompanied.

Frail as summer's flower we flourish,
blows the wind and it is gone;
but while mortals rise and perish,
God endures unchanging on.
Alleluia, alleluia,
praise the High Eternal One.
-based on Psalm 103:15-17

Singers and accompanists will want to emphasize the melodic contours and not the marching rhythms emphasized by the bar lines. Organists, take advantage of Goss's interpretation of the various stanzas by playing the first stanza with solid and firm foundation stops, the second (if accompanied) with quieter sound, and the third with a very legato gentle sound on strings. Then open all the stops for a majestic conclusion on the fourth stanza.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Audio recording: Piano Harmony (auto-generated)
MIDI file: MIDI Preview
(Faith Alive Christian Resources)
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