49. Listen, All People Who Live in This World

Text Information
First Line: Listen, all people who live in this world
Title: Listen, All People Who Live in This World
Versifier: Helen Otte (1984)
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: 10 10 10 10
Topic: Afflictions; Easter; Eternal Life (2 more...)
Language: English
Copyright: Text © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Composer: Martin Fallas Shaw (1935)
Meter: 10 10 10 10
Key: G Major
Copyright: Tune © 1935, Royal School of Church Music

Text Information:

Godly counsel against fear or awe of the godless wealthy.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-4
st. 2 = vv. 5-9
st. 3 = vv. 10-11
st.4 = vv.12-15
st. 5 = vv. 16-20

Traditionally ascribed to (or assigned to) "the Sons of Korah," Psalm 49, like Psalms 1, 34, 37, 73, and 112, gives instruction in godly wisdom. It calls God's people to hear wise counsel (st. 1) against fear or awe of the wealthy, especially those who trust in riches rather than in God. Death takes them too, and no ransom payment can ward it off (st. 2). They are fools whose final home is the grave (st. 3). While death is the shepherd of those who trust in themselves, God redeems the godly from the grave and takes them to himself (st. 4). "Do not be overawed," says the psalmist (v. 16), by the wealth and honor of the rich (st. 5); "one who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish" (v. 20). Helen Otte (PHH 17) paraphrased Psalm 49 in unrhymed dactylic meter in 1984 for the Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
Occasions when the church speaks out against materialism and all forms of proud secularism.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Martin Edward Fallas Shaw (b. Kensington, London, England, 1875; d. Southwold, Suffolk, England, 1958) composed JULIUS for J. S. Arkwright's iambic text "O Valiant Hearts" and named the tune in memory of his brother, who was reported missing in World War I. JULIUS was first published in Sir Sydney Nicholson's Gift Book in 1935 for the School of English Church Music (which later became the Royal School of Church Music). Take this tune in two broad beats per bar; the resulting "triplets" lend a confident and sure spirit to the text.

Shaw was educated at the Royal College of Music in London and was organist and choirmaster at St. Mary's, Primrose Hill (1908-1920), St. Martin's in the Fields (1920¬1924), and the Eccleston Guild House (1924-1935). From 1935 to 1945 he served as music director for the diocese of Chelmsford. He established the Purcell Operatic Society and was a founder of the Plainsong and Medieval Society and what later became the Royal Society of Church Music.

Author of The Principles of English Church Music Composition (1921), Shaw was a notable reformer of English church music. He worked with Percy Dearmer (his rector at St. Mary's in Primrose Hill; see PHH 595), Ralph Vaughan Williams (PHH 316), and his brother Geoffrey Shaw in publishing hymnals such as Son of Praise (1925, 1931) and the Oxford Book of Carols (1928). A leader in the revival of English opera and folk music scholarship, Shaw composed some one hundred songs as well as anthems and service music; some of his best hymn tunes were published in his Additional Tunes in Use at St. Mary's (1915).

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

MIDI file: MIDI Preview
(Faith Alive Christian Resources)

Suggestions or corrections? Contact us