RANDOLPH (Williams)

Composer: Ralph Vaughan Williams

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Tune Information

Composer: Ralph Vaughan Williams (1906)
Incipit: 35654 32113 45567
Key: D Major
Copyright: Public Domain in the United States


God Be with You Till We Meet Again

God be with you till we meet again,
By His counsels guide, uphold you,
With His sheep securely fold you,
God be with you till we meet again.

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Though the gospel tune by Tomer has enjoyed popularity, its overly sentimental character prompted a search for alternatives. Ralph Vaughan Williams (b. Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, England, 1872; d. St. Marylebone, London, England, 1958) composed the distinguished tune RANDOLPH for Rankin's text. The tune was first published in The English Hymnal (1906). In it Vaughan Williams matched the repetition of the first and last textual phrases with a repeated musical phrase. Though written for unison singing and best accompanied with clear organ sounds, several stanzas sing well in parts, possibly even without accompaniment. Or sing the first and final phrases in unison and the inner phrases in harmony. Because the first and last phrases are identical for each stanza, this hymn is very effective when two groups alternate between stanzas, perhaps even facing each other. Through his composing, conducting, collecting, editing, and teaching, Vaughan Williams became the chief figure in the realm of English music and church music in the first half of the twentieth century. His education included instruction at the Royal College of Music in London and Trinity College, Cambridge, as well as additional studies in Berlin and Paris. During World War I he served in the army medical corps in France. Vaughan Williams taught music at the Royal College of Music (1920-1940), conducted the Bach Choir in London (1920-1927), and directed the Leith Hill Music Festival in Dorking (1905-1953). A major influence in his life was the English folk song. A knowledgeable collector of folk songs, he was also a member of the Folksong Society and a supporter of the English Folk Dance Society. Vaughan Williams wrote various articles and books, including National Music (1935), and composed numerous arrange¬ments of folk songs; many of his compositions show the impact of folk rhythms and melodic modes. His original compositions cover nearly all musical genres, from orchestral symphonies and concertos to choral works, from songs to operas, and from chamber music to music for films. Vaughan Williams's church music includes anthems; choral-orchestral works, such as Magnificat (1932), Dona Nobis Pacem (1936), and HodieThe English Hymnal(1906), and coeditor (with Martin Shaw) of Songs of Praise (1925, 1931) and the Oxford Book of Carols (1928). --Psalter Hymnal Handbook


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The United Methodist Hymnal #673
Text: God Be with You till We Meet Again
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Include 11 pre-1979 instances
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