Paul T. Langston (b. Marianna, FL, 1928) composed ERIN on request in 1974 for the 1975 Baptist Hymnal, in which it was published as a setting for W. Nantlais Williams' urban hymn “Jesus, Friend of Thronging Pilgrims." Langston named the tune after his daughter. Brooks originally wrote his text in 87 87 47, without the textual repeat in the final line, but the addition of that repeat to accommodate ERIN fits very well with the tune's closing sequence. Composed in bar form (AAB), ERIN is a tune in minor that shifts to melodic minor (almost major) in its final line for a brilliant ending. Stanzas 2 and 3 may be sung by alternating groups (men and women, or two sides of the congregation) with everyone joining in each time on "God has spoken. . . ." For festive use, add trumpets or a full brass choir. Bright, full organ music is also helpful.
Langston is a music educator and a composer of both organ and choral works. He studied composition with Nadia Boulanger and received his education from the University of Florida, Gainesville, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. In 1963 he earned a doctorate at Union Theological Seminary, New York City. An organist and choirmaster at several churches, Langston has also been a professor at Davidson College in North Carolina and Stetson University in Florida.