564. Fount of Love, Our Savior God

Text Information
First Line: Fount of love, our Savior God
Title: Fount of Love, Our Savior God
Author: Ernest Y. L. Yang (1934)
Translator: Frank W. Price (1953, alt.)
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: 77 77 77 with refrain
Scripture: ;
Topic: Cross of Christ; Walk with God; Grace (2 more...)
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Fount of love, our Savior God
Copyright: © 1977, Chinese Christian Literature Council, Ltd.
Tune Information
Arranger: I-to Loh (1983)
Meter: 77 77 77 with refrain
Key: E♭ Major
Source: Ancient Chinese

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = 1 John 1:5-7
st. 5 = Matt. 7:13-14

The author of this text, Ernest Y. L. Yang (b. Wuxi,Jiangsu, China, 1899; d. China, 1984), served on the committee that prepared the interdenominational Chinese hymnbook Hymns of Universal Praise (1936). He wrote over two hundred hymns, including melodies, arrangements, translations, and original texts. Regarded as an outstanding musicologist in China, he is known especially for his important two-volume history of ancient music in China, Zhongkuo Gudai Yinyue Shigao (1944). A graduate of St. John's University in Shanghai and Guanghua University, Yang taught at Yanjing University, the National Conservatory of Music, and Jinling Women's University.

Yang's hymn was translated into English by Frank W. Price (b. Sinchang, Che, China, 1895; d. Lexington, VA, 1974). A missionary to China for thirty years (1919-1949), Price was imprisoned by the Communist Chinese government for three years. After return¬ing to the United States in 1952, he became director of the Missionary Research Library at Union Theological Seminary, New York City. This text is one of a number of Chinese hymns from Hymns of Universal Praise? that Price translated and published in Chinese Hymns by Chinese Writers (1953). The text was also included in the East Asian Christian Conference songbook, EEAC Hymnal (1963), and the Asian-American United Methodist anthology, Hymns from the Four Winds (1983).

This pilgrimage text presents the petition "Savior God, be our guide" in the refrain. Sprinkled with delightful metaphors, expressive words, and biblical phrases, the text asks for divine illumination and guidance amid the pitfalls of life, for wholehearted devotion to the "narrow gate … that leads to life" (Matt. 7:13-14). The first time it was sung from the Psalter Hymnal was at the Ann Arbor Campus Chapel the Sunday after the confrontation in Tienamin Square on June 4, 1989.

Liturgical Use:
The initial stanzas, as a sung prayer for illumination before preaching; the entire hymn, after the sermon as a prayer for God's guidance on our journey through life; a fine anthem for a children's choir with accompaniment of plucked strings and flutes.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Based on an ancient Chinese Tsu melody, MAN-CHIANG-HUNG (meaning "all red the river") was associated with a patriotic poem written by General Yueh-Fei. In 1980 the Chinese scholar and musician I-to Loh (b. Tamsui, Taipei, Taiwan, 1936) arranged this popular melody into a hymn tune for publication in Hymns from the Four Winds (1983).

Pentatonic and built on several melodic patterns, MAN-CHIANG-HUNG should be sung in unison with rather light accompaniment, perhaps with plucked strings. Other instruments such as flutes could play some delicate variations and grace notes on the unison melody. The subtle interplay of motives, dissonances, and open chords in the Oriental harmonization are characteristic and should not be westernized with triadic chords.

A world-renowned scholar and hymn composer, I-to Loh has contributed greatly to the development of non-Western hymnody. Not content to let Asian and African churches continue to imitate European and North American hymns, he has encouraged the development of indigenous church music in his travels to many different countries. Loh received his theological training at Tainan Theological College in Taiwan, studied composition at Union Theological Seminary in New York, and in 1982 he received a Ph.D. in music from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is professor of church music and ethnomusicology at the Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music in Manila and at Tainan Theological College. In addition to the well-known Hymns from the Four Winds (1983), he has edited hymn collections such as New Songs of Asian Cities (1972), African Songs of Worship (1987), Asian Songs of Worship (1988), and Sound the Bamboo (1990). A composer of tunes for over sixty hymns and anthems, Loh is also the author of Teach Us to Praise: In Search of Contextualized Church Music (1988).

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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