TERRA BEATA

Arranger: Franklin L. Sheppard

Franklin L. Sheppard (1852-1930) was a well-known Christian hymn composer who set the poem, "This is My Father's World," to music. Sheppard was born on Au­gust 7, 1852 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sheppard at­tend­ed Will­iam Few­smith’s Clas­sic­al School and the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated as val­e­dic­tor­i­an in 1872. In 1875, Sheppard moved to Boston, Massachusetts, to run the found­ry for his fa­ther’s stove and heat­er man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­ny. Shepard at­tend­ed the Zi­on Pro­test­ant Epis­co­pal Church in Bos­ton, but lat­er switched to Presbyterianism. He event­u­al­ly joined the Second Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland, and be­came pres­i­dent of the Pres… Go to person page >

Tune Information

Arranger: Franklin L. Sheppard
Meter: 6.6.8.6 D
Incipit: 12353 21234 65326
Key: E♭ Major
Copyright: Public Domain

Texts

This Is My Father's World

This is my Father's world,
And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world:
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas--
His hand the wonders wrought.

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Notes

TERRA BEATA was originally a traditional English folk tune, a variant of which, entitled RUSPER, appeared in The English Hymnal in 1906. Franklin L. Sheppard (b. Philadelphia, PA, 1852; d. Germantown, PA, 1930) arranged the tune for Babcock's text and published it in the Presbyterian church school hymnal Alleluia (1915), edited by Sheppard (Babcock and Sheppard were friends). After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Sheppard entered the family foundry business in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1875. He was organist at Zion Episcopal Church and later was an elder and music director of the Second Presbyterian Church in Baltimore. President of the Presbyterian Board of Publications, Sheppard also served on the committee that prepared the Presbyterian Hymnal of 1911. In the history of hymnody he is remembered primarily for arranging the tune TERRA BEATA for “This Is My Father's World.” TERRA BEATA (also called TERRA PATRIS) is Latin for "beautiful world." A lively melody with an extended range, the tune requires a light manner of performance as well as light accompaniment. Try using guitars and recorders. Harmony singing is fine as long as voices stay light and energetic. Organists, choose light and bright foundation stops, not heavy diapasons. Easily learned by children, this is a vivacious hymn that would be hampered by plodding or weightiness. Observe a ritard only on the last line of stanza 3. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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Include 58 pre-1979 instances
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