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The Song of Jubilee

Representative Text

1 Hark, the song of jubilee
loud as mighty thunders roar,
or the fullness of the sea
when it breaks upon the shore;
Alleluia! for the Lord
God omnipotent shall reign!
Alleluia! let the word
sound from city, hill, and plain.

2 Alleluia! hark, the sound
from the depths unto the skies,
wakes above, beneath, around
all creation's harmonies;
see the Victor's banner furled;
sheathed his sword, he speak--"Tis done!"--
and the kingdoms of this world
are the kingdom of his Son.

3 He shall reign from pole to pole
with illimitable sway;
he shall reign when, like a scroll,
yonder heav'ns have passed away;
then the end: beneath his rod
his last enemy shall fall;
Alleuia! Christ in God,
God in Christ, is all in all.

Source: Rejoice in the Lord #601

Author: James Montgomery

James Montgomery (b. Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland, 1771; d. Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, 1854), the son of Moravian parents who died on a West Indies mission field while he was in boarding school, Montgomery inherited a strong religious bent, a passion for missions, and an independent mind. He was editor of the Sheffield Iris (1796-1827), a newspaper that sometimes espoused radical causes. Montgomery was imprisoned briefly when he printed a song that celebrated the fall of the Bastille and again when he described a riot in Sheffield that reflected unfavorably on a military commander. He also protested against slavery, the lot of boy chimney sweeps, and lotteries. Associated with Christians of various persuasions, Montgomery supported missio… Go to person page >


Hark, the song of jubilee. J. Montgomery. [Missions.] Published in the Evangelical Magazine, July, 1818, in 3 stanzas of 8 lines, in the author's Greenland and other Poems, 1819, p. 183; Cotterill's Selection, 8th edition, 1819, No. 235; Montgomery's Christian Psalmist, 1825, No. 561; and his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 98. Almost from the first Montgomery had some difficulty with the second line of stanza ii. His readings are:—
1. Greenland, &c. "From the abysse to the skies."
2. Cotterill. "From the depths unto the skies."
3. Church Psalms "From the centre to the skies."
4. Same, altered in manuscript "From the depths unto the skies."
5. Original Hymns. "From the depths unto the skies."
This last is Montgomery's authorized text, and is usually followed by modern compilers. The hymn is in extensive use in all English-speaking countries, and has been translated into several languages.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


Hark! the song of Jubilee, p. 490, i. The origin of this hymn is thus set forth on a broadsheet which was used in Sheffield in 1819: "West Riding Missionary Anniversary, Sheffield, July 27, 28, and 29,1819. Hymns, composed at the express desire of the London Missionary Society, with a special reference to the renunciation of Idolatry, and acknowledgment of the Gospel, in the Georgian Isles of the South Seas," and sung at Spa Fields Chapel, London, May 14, 1818. Hymn i. "Hark! the song of Jubilee." Hymn ii. "Let there be light': thus spake the Word." In this broadsheet, "Hark! the song," &c, is in 6 stanzas of 3 lines, and line 2 of stanza iii. reads, “From the depths unto the skies." This hymn is No. 94 in the Original Hymns, 1853, and not 98 as at p. 490, i.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)



George J. Elvey (PHH 48) composed ST. GEORGE'S WINDSOR as a setting for James Montgomery's text "Hark! The Song of Jubilee," with which it was published in Edward H. Thorne's Selection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes (1858). The tune has been associated with Alford's text since publication of the hymn in th…

Go to tune page >




Instances (1 - 4 of 4)

Church Hymnal, Mennonite #294

TextPage Scan

Rejoice in the Lord #601

The Baptist Hymnal #603


The Cyber Hymnal #2161

Include 417 pre-1979 instances
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