Composer: Gordon Slater

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Tune Information

Composer: Gordon Slater (1929)
Incipit: 13153 21712 35654
Key: D Major
Copyright: By permission of Oxford University Press.


I Come with Joy

Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee

Jesus, the very thought of thee
with sweetness fills the breast;
but sweeter far thy face to see,
and in thy presence rest.

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For Mary, mother of our Lord


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


Organ Solo

  • 100 New Hymn Preludes
    Composer/Editor Andrew Fletcher
    Published By: Kevin Mayhew Ltd. (2008) pp. 230
  • Hymn Preludes for the Church Year Book 2: Ordinary Time
    Composer/Editors Aaron Shows; Philip Moore
    Published By: Kevin Mayhew Ltd. (2001) pp. 187
  • Eight Chorale Preludes for Organ: Based on Well-Known Hymn Tunes

    Published By: Cathedral Music Press (1991) pp. 6

Harmonizations, Introductions, Descants, Intonations

  • Free Harmonizations of Favorite Hymns Volume 4: The Easter Season
    Composer/Editor James M. Guthrie
    Published By: Self-published (2017) pp. LL
  • Hymn Tunes in Lower Keyes: The Book to Grab When the Congregation Complains that the Hymns are Too High!

    Published By: Kevin Mayhew Ltd. (2011) pp. 225
  • The Really Big Descant Book - Full Music Edition: 250 Settings to Raise the Roof by the World's Finest Church Music Composers

    Published By: Kevin Mayhew Ltd. (2009) pp. 177
  • 200 New Last Verses

    Published By: Kevin Mayhew Ltd. (2007) pp. 155
  • Hymn Intonations Preludes & Free Harmonizations Volume XI: 25 Harmonizations and Descants
    Composer/Editor Craig Phillips
    Published By: Selah Publishing Company, Inc. (2000) pp. 19


Instances (1 - 26 of 26)

Ancient and Modern #313


Ancient and Modern #448a

Ancient and Modern #560b


Ancient and Modern #620b


Ancient and Modern #749a

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #194

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #328

Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #1

Common Praise (1998) #617


Common Praise #238

Common Praise #305

Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #182a

Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #304

Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #390

Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #484a

Hymns of Glory, Songs of Praise #1

TextPage Scan

Hymns to the Living God #326

New English Praise #623

Text InfoTune InfoAudio

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #589

Singing the Faith #588


The Hymnal 1982 #209


The Hymnal 1982 #603

The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #186b


The New English Hymnal #385


Together in Song #223


Together in Song #254

Include 6 pre-1979 instances
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