|Composer:||William Henry Monk (1861)|
|Incipit:||33215 65543 34565|
Abide with me: fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
According to some sources, William H. Monk (PHH 332) wrote EVENTIDE for Lyte's text in ten minutes. As the story goes, Monk was attending a hymnal committee meeting for the 1861 edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern of which he was music editor. Realizing that this text had no tune, Monk sat down at the piano and composed EVENTIDE. The hymn was then published in that edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern. The tune has always been associated with this text.
EVENTIDE is a modest tune, much loved in the Christian church. Though often used for solemn occasions, the tune must not be sung too slowly. Try singing one of the middle stanzas without accompaniment. Organists should keep a firm and steady tempo.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook