|Composer:||Gordon Slater (1929)|
|Incipit:||13153 21712 35654|
|Copyright:||By permission of Oxford University Press.|
Jesus, the very thought of thee
with sweetness fills the breast;
but sweeter far thy face to see,
and in thy presence rest.
ST. BOTOLPH was composed by Gordon A. Slater (b. Harrogate, Yorkshire, England, 1896; d. Lincoln, England, 1979) and first published in Songs of Praise for Boys and Girls (1930).
The tune was named for St. Botolph's Parish Church in Boston, Lincolnshire, England, where Slater was organist from 1919 to 1927, following his service in the British army in France during World War I. That church honors St. Botolph, the seventh-century abbot of an influential monastery thought to have been near Iken, northeast of Ipswich in Suffolk, a monastery destroyed during the Danish invasions. Also from 1919 to 1927, Slater was conductor of the Boston Choral Society. He then served at Leicester Cathedral from 1927 to 1930. Organist and choirmaster at Lincoln Cathedral from 1930 to 1966, Slater supervised the rebuilding of the cathedral's organ in 1960. During those years he was also the conductor of the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra. He taught at various British colleges and universities and was a well-known organ recitalist for the BBC. In addition to piano and organ music, Slater composed anthems and hymn tunes.
As originally intended by Slater, ST. BOTOLPH is best sung in unison. Music theory students may delight in finding some parallel fifths in the harmonization. Sing and accompany in two long lines rather than in four short phrases. “Jesus, the Very Thought of You” (480) is often sung to ST. BOTOLPH in British churches.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook
Harmonizations, Introductions, Descants, Intonations