|Composer:||Robert Williams (1817)|
|Meter:||188.8.131.52 with alleluias|
|Incipit:||11335 43254 34321|
Hail the day that sees him rise, Alleluia!
to his throne beyond the skies. Alleluia!
Christ, the Lamb for sinners given, Alleluia!
enters now the highest heaven. Alleluia!
LLANFAIR is usually attributed to Welsh singer Robert Williams (b. Mynydd Ithel, Anglesey, Wales, 1781; d. Mynydd Ithel, 1821), whose manuscript, dated July 14, 1817, included the tune. Williams lived on the island of Anglesey. A basket weaver with great innate musical ability, Williams, who was blind, could write out a tune after hearing it just once. He sang hymns at public occasions and was a composer of hymn tunes.
LLANFAIR was first published with a harmonization by John Roberts in John Parry's Peroriaeth Hyfryd (Sweet Music) (1837). The tune has been associated with the Wesley/Cotterill text since its publication with the text in The English Hymnal (1906). LLANFAIR is actually a common Welsh name, but some scholars believe that in this case the tune's name refers to the Montgomery County [sic Anglesey County] village in Wales where Williams was born.
A rounded bar form (AABA) tune, LLANFAIR features the common Welsh device of building a melody on the tones of the tonic triad. The tune is in a major key (not all Welsh tunes are in minor keys!). The melismas give fitting shape to the "alleluias." Use brisk accompaniment for this cheerful tune. LLANFAIR has a similar pattern to that of EASTER HYMN (388); see suggestions there for antiphonal style performance.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988