NATIVITY (Lahee)

Composer: Henry Lahee

Born: April 11, 1826, Chelsea, London, England. Died: April 29, 1912, London, England. Lahee studied under John Goss and William Sterndale Bennett. He played the organ at several churches, including Holy Trinity Church, Brompton (1847-74). He won prizes for his compositions in Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow, and London, and set to music poems by Edgar Allen Poe ("The Bells"), Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ("Building of the Ship") and Alfred Tennyson ("Sleeping Beauty"). His works include: Metrical Psalter, with William Irons, 1855 Famous Singers of Today and Yesterday, 1898 One Hundred Hymn Tunes Sources: Frost, p. 680 CS Concordance, pp. 246-47 Nutter, p. 460 --www.hymntime.com/tch  Go to person page >

Tune Information

Title: NATIVITY (Lahee)
Composer: Henry Lahee (1855)
Meter: 8.6.8.6
Incipit: 33355 11321 66217
Key: B♭ Major
Copyright: Public Domain

Notes

Henry Lahee (b. Chelsea, London, England, 1826; d. Croydon, London, 1912) composed NATIVITY, which was first published in 1855 and set to a nativity hymn (thus the tune's title), "High let us swell our tuneful notes," by Philip Doddridge (PsH 335). Because NATIVITY was published with Isaac Watts' (PsH 155) "Come let us join our cheerful songs" in the 1875 edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern, it has often been set to that text. NATIVITY is the only Lahee tune still in common use.

After studying music privately, Lahee became organist at several churches. His most prominent position was at Holy Trinity Church, Brompton, England, where he was organist from 1847-1874. While in that position he joined his vicar, W. J. Irons, in producing The Metrical Psalter (1855); NATIVITY was included in an appendix to that collection. A composer of cantatas and many madrigals and glees, Lahee also compiled One Hundred Hymn Tunes (1857) for use with a collection of hymn texts edited by Irons.

A cheerful tune, NATIVITY is distinguished both by its brevity and by its opening dramatic "rocket" figure. Sing in two long lines with stanzas 1 and 5 in unison and stanzas 24 in harmony. The fanfare-like opening and royal character of this psalm invite brass accompaniment.

For the final stanza, add the fine descant by Florence Mary Spencer Palmer ("Peggy"; b. Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England, 1900; d. Bristol, England, 1987) from the Anglican Hymn Book, 1965. Palmer studied piano and composition in her youth and later taught those disciplines, both privately and at various schools in the Bristol area. In addition to her many hymn tunes she composed music for piano, cello, and voice.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Media

Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #126
  • Four-part harmony, full-score (PDF, NWC)
The Cyber Hymnal #596
Text: Behold My Servant! See Him Rise
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
The Cyber Hymnal #3354
Text: Jesus, Let All Thy Lovers Shine
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
The Cyber Hymnal #4645
Text: Now Shall My Solemn Vows Be Paid
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
The Cyber Hymnal #6136
Text: Sing We the Song
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
The Cyber Hymnal #7622
Text: Workman of God
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
The Cyber Hymnal #9649
Text: Blest Be The Everlasting God
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #359
Text: Christ Is the King and He Shall Reign
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
  • Full Score (PDF, XML)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)

Instances

Instances (1 - 24 of 24)
Text

Ancient and Modern #362

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #127

ScoreAudio

Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #126

Tune Info

Church Hymnal, Mennonite #60

TextPage Scan

Common Praise (1998) #319

Page Scan

Common Praise #401

TextPage Scan

Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #120

Complete Mission Praise #93

Hymns and Psalms #810

Hymns and Psalms #821

Text

Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #206

Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudioPage Scan

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #359

Singing the Faith #743

Audio

Small Church Music #541

TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #596

TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #3354

TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #4645

TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #6136

TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #7622

TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #9649

The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #652

Page Scan

The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #665

TextPage Scan

The New English Hymnal #349

Text

Together in Song #204

Include 58 pre-1979 instances
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