Loys "Louis" Bourgeois (French: [buʁʒwa]; c. 1510 – 1559) was a French composer and music theorist of the Renaissance. He is most famous as one of the main compilers of Calvinist hymn tunes in the middle of the 16th century. One of the most famous melodies in all of Christendom, the Protestant doxology known as the Old 100th, is commonly attributed to him.
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Harmonizer: Claude Goudimel
Claude Goudimel; b. about 1505, Vaison, near Avignon, rance; killed in St. Bartholomew massacre, Lyons, France, Aug. 24, 1572
Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal, 1908 Go to person page >
Be merciful, be merciful, O God.
According to your steadfast love, have mercy.
Blot out my sin in your abundant mercy.
Wash all my sin away and make me clean.
I know my sin; it will not leave my mind.
Against you, only you, I have been sinning.
So you are just in judging what I did.
Even before my birth my life was tainted.
Why, Lord, must evil seem to get its way?
We do confess our sin is deeply shameful;
but now the wicked openly are scornful
they mock your name and laugh at our dismay.
We know your providential love holds true:
nothing can curse us endlessly with sorrow.
Transform, dear Lord, this damage into good;
show us your glory, hidden by this evil.
GENEVAN 51 first appeared in the 1551 edition of the Genevan Psalter and is attributed to Louis Bourgeois (PHH 3). Claude Goudimel (PHH 6) composed the harmonization in 1564; the melody was originally in the tenor. One of the longer and more difficult Genevan tunes in the Psalter Hymnal, this Phrygian melody is one of the most hauntingly suitable tunes for a penitential psalm. Though the initial stanzas of this psalm are subdued, it should not be sung too slowly, and the final stanzas have many phrases that abound in confidence and joy. Sing harmony on stanzas 3, 4, and/ or 5.
Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988