ABERYSTWYTH (Parry)

Composer: Joseph Parry

Joseph Parry (21 May 1841 – 17 February 1903), was a Welsh composer and musician. Born in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, he is best known as the composer of MYFANWY and ABERYSTWYTH (a hymn tune) used in Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika the National anthem of South Africa. The cottage at 4 Chapel Row, Merthyr Tydfil, where Parry was born, is now open to the public as a museum. Parry's family emigrated to the United States in 1854, when he was 13, and he became an ironworker in Danville, Pennsylvania. There was a large Welsh community there and he became involved in strengthening Welsh culture locally. When, in 1865, he was admitted to the Gorsedd at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, he took the bardic name, "Pencerdd America". He became a Freemason in… Go to person page >

Tune Information

Composer: Joseph Parry (1879)
Meter: 7.7.7.7 D
Incipit: 11234 53213 21712
Key: d minor

Texts

Jesus, Lover of My Soul

Jesus, lover of my soul,
let me to thy bosom fly,
while the nearer waters roll,
while the tempest still is high;
hide me, O my Savior, hide,
till the storm of life is past;
safe into the haven guide,
O receive my soul at last!

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Notes

Joseph Parry (b. Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorganshire, Wales, 1841; d. Penarth, Glamorganshire, 1903) was born into a poor but musical family. Although he showed musical gifts at an early age, he was sent to work in the puddling furnaces of a steel mill at the age of nine. His family immigrated to a Welsh settlement in Danville, Pennsylvania, in 1854, where Parry later started a music school. He traveled in the United States and in Wales, performing, studying, and composing music, and he won several Eisteddfodau (singing competition) prizes. Parry studied at the Royal Academy of Music and at Cambridge, where part of his tuition was paid by interested community people who were eager to encourage his talent. From 1873 to 1879 he was professor of music at the Welsh University College in Aberystwyth. After establishing private schools of music in Aberystwyth and in Swan sea, he was lecturer and professor of music at the University College of South Wales in Cardiff (1888-1903) . Parry composed oratorios, cantatas, an opera, orchestral and chamber music, as well as some four hundred hymn tunes. ABERYSTWYTH, Parry's best known hymn tune, was composed in 1876 and named after the Welsh seaside resort where he was teaching. It was first published in Edward Stephen's Ail Llyfr Tonau acEmynau (The Second Book of Tunes and Hymns, 1879) as a setting for the Welsh hymn "Beth sydd i mi yn byd." Parry later joined the tune to “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” (578), and that combination has remained in most hymnals. Like many Welsh tunes, it requires firm and majestic treatment. The vivid text invites sturdy and sometimes dramatic accompaniment, especially on stanza 2. Try singing stanza 3 or 4 in harmony. For one or two of the other inner stanzas, the congregation may sing in canon when using the alternative accompaniment by Donald Busarow (opposite 17 in the hymnal). The congregation may be divided into two sections, or treble voices could begin, followed by men's voices after one measure. Donald Busarow (b. Racine, Wi, 1934) graduated from Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois, and then studied at the University of Michigan, the Cleveland Institute, and Michigan State University, where he received a Ph.D. degree. Since 1975 he has been professor of music and chair of the department of sacred music at Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio. He has published many hymn concertatos, anthems, and organ compositions and is well-known for his hymn festivals. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1998

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Include 68 pre-1979 instances
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