Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >
Hark, from the tombs a doleful [warning] sound. I. Watts. [Burial.] first published in his Hymns & Sacred Songs, 1707 (edition 1709, Book ii., No. 63), in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled, "A Funeral Thought." Its use is mainly confined to America, where it is sometimes given as, “Hark, from the tombs a warning sound," as in the Baptist Praise Book, 1871.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Traditionally used for Montgomery's text and for Peter Abelard's "Alone Thou Goest Forth, O Lord," BANGOR comes from William Tans'ur's A Compleat Melody: or the Harmony of Syon (the preface of which is dated 1734). In that collection the tune was a three-part setting for Psalm 12 (and for Psalm 11 i…
Display Title: Hark! from the Tombs a Doleful SoundFirst Line: Hark! from the tombs a doleful soundTune Title: BANGORAuthor: Isaac WattsMeter: CMSource: Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707-9, Book II, number 63