|First Line:||O God, be gracious to me in your love|
|Title:||O God, Be Gracious to Me in Your Love|
|Versifier:||Ian Pitt-Watson (1973, alt.)|
|Meter:||10 10 10 10|
|Copyright:||© Ian Pitt-Watson|
st. 1 = Ps. 51:1-3
st. 2 = Ps. 51:4, 7
st. 3 = Ps. 51:8, 10
st. 4 = Ps. 51:11-12
Ian Pitt-Watson (b. Glasgow, Scotland, 1923; d. London, England, 1995) prepared "O God, Be Gracious" for Oxford's Church Hymnary (3rd ed., 1973), basing it on the New English Bible text of Psalm 51:1-12. This portion of Psalm 51 is the part most concerned with repentance, forgiveness, and restoration of a sinner before a merciful God. For further commentary on this psalm see PHH 51.
Pitt-Watson was educated at the University of Edinburgh and graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London. Ordained to the Presbyterian ministry in 1950, he served the Cathedral Church of St. Giles in Edinburgh, Scotland (the church where John Knox had been preacher). From 1952 to 1958 he was chaplain of the University of Aberdeen and later served congregations in Dundee and Glasgow. He returned to teach at Aberdeen in 1974 before moving in 1980 to become professor of preaching and practical theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, where he remained until retirement. Pitt-Watson was a highly regarded scholar, expositor, and preacher in both Europe and North America. Among his published works are Preaching: a Kind of Folly (1976) and A Primer for Preachers (1986). Some of his psalm paraphrases were published in The Church Hymnary of 1973.
See PHH 51.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook
Orlando Gibbons (b. Oxford, England, 1583; d. Canterbury, England, 1625) composed SONG 24 as a setting for a paraphrase of Lamentations 1. The tune was number 24 (hence, the tune name) in his collection of hymn tunes composed for and published in George Wither's The Hymnes and Songs of the Church (1623).
Gibbons began his musical career at age twelve as a chorister at King's College, Cambridge. He studied music at Cambridge and became the organist at the Chapel Royal in 1605, remaining in that position until his sudden death. He was recognized as one of the outstanding composers and organists of his day. In addition to composing hymn tunes, Gibbons published a collection of his music, Madrigals and Motets (1612), and is noted for his anthems and other liturgical music for the Anglican Church.
Mainly in the Dorian mode, SONG 24 is a beautiful tune most fitting for the penitential Psalm 51. As in most modern hymnals containing this tune, the original third and fourth phrases are omitted. The soprano and bass parts are by Gibbons; the inner voices are from The English Hymnal (1906). Sing this tune in unison or harmony; where resources permit, sing a stanza or two unaccompanied (perhaps using the E minor setting at 308).
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook
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