LOVE UNKNOWN

Composer: John Ireland

John Ireland (1879-1962) studied at Durham University in England and became a church organist, choirmaster, editor, and lecturer, eventually teaching at the Royal College of Church Music. He was a gifted composer of music for voice, piano, organ, chamber music, and orchestra that were recognized for their excellence during his lifetime; LOVE UNKNOWN was his only hymn tune, found today in numerous hymnals. Emily Brink  Go to person page >

Tune Information

Title: LOVE UNKNOWN
Composer: John Ireland (1918)
Meter: 6.6.6.6.4.4.4.4
Incipit: 35632 12345 36676
Key: D Major
Copyright: Public Domain

Notes

John Ireland (b. Bowdon, Cheshire, England, 1879; d. Rock Mill, Washington, Sussex, England, 1962) composed LOVE UNKNOWN in 1918 for the text "My song is love unknown"; the tune was first published in The Public School Hymn Book of 1919. A letter in the London Daily Telegraph of April 5, 1950, claims that Ireland wrote LOVE UNKNOWN within fifteen minutes on a scrap of paper upon receiving the request to compose it from Geoffrey Shaw, one of the editors of that 1919 hymnal. LOVE UNKNOWN has since appeared in many hymnals as a setting for a number of different texts.

Trained at the Royal College of Music, Ireland served as organist at St. Luke's, Chelsea (1904-1926), and taught at the Royal College of Music from 1923 to 1939. He became known as one of the best composers and teachers of his era, but his personal life was often troubled. Although his piano works, chamber music, and smaller orchestral works remain popular, Ireland is mainly remembered for his song cycles of poetry by Shakespeare, Blake, Hardy, and other English poets. His songs often have carefully wrought accompaniments–as is certainly the case for LOVE UNKNOWN. Sing this fine tune in unison with firm legato organ support, or in harmony, possibly even unaccompanied on a stanza, if resources permit.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987

Instances

Instances (1 - 59 of 59)

A New Hymnal for Colleges and Schools #31

Text

Ancient and Modern #147

Text

Ancient and Modern #321

Text

Ancient and Modern #487

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #230

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #521

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #764

Text

Christian Worship #110

Text

Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #238

Text

Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #399

Text

Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #698

Text

Common Praise (1998) #184

Common Praise #112

Common Praise #236b

Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #209

Text

Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #463

Complete Mission Praise #478

Complete Mission Praise #813

Text

Evangelical Lutheran Worship #343

Evangelical Lutheran Worship #791

Text InfoTextAudio

Glory to God #209

TextPage Scan

Hymnal 1982 #458

Hymnal #235

Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Standard Edition #63

Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #136

Text

Hymns of Glory, Songs of Praise #238

Text

Hymns of Glory, Songs of Praise #399

Text

Hymns of Glory, Songs of Praise #698

Hymns of the Saints #202

TextPage Scan

Hymns to the Living God #142

Journeysongs (2nd ed.) #415

Text

Journeysongs (3rd ed.) #390

Text

Lift Up Your Hearts #315

Audio

Lift Up Your Hearts #851

Text

Lutheran Service Book #430

Text

Lutheran Worship #91

Text

Moravian Book of Worship #482

Text InfoTune InfoAudio

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #220

TextPage Scan

Rejoice in the Lord #284

RitualSong (2nd ed.) #599

Text

RitualSong #572

Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #188

Singing the Faith #277

Singing the New Testament #32

The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #38

The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #417

The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #583

The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #618b

Text

The New English Hymnal #86

Text

The Presbyterian Hymnal #76

TextPage Scan

The Presbyterian Hymnal #515

Text

Together in Song #341

Page Scan

Trinity Psalter Hymnal #143A

TextPage Scan

Trinity Psalter Hymnal #326

Text

Voices United #143

Text

Voices United #456

Text

With One Voice #661

Text

Worship (3rd ed.) #439

Worship (4th ed.) #490

Include 8 pre-1979 instances
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