171. It Is Good to Sing Your Praises

1 It is good to sing your praises
and to thank you, O Most High,
showing forth your loving-kindness
when the morning lights the sky.
It is good when night is falling
of your faithfulness to tell,
while with sweet, melodious praises
songs of adoration swell.

2 You have filled my heart with gladness
through the works your hands have wrought;
you have made my life victorious;
great your works and deep your thought.
You, O LORD, on high exalted,
reign forevermore in might;
all your enemies shall perish,
sin be banished from your sight.

3 But the good shall live before you,
planted in your dwelling place,
fruitful trees and ever verdant,
nourished by your boundless grace.
In his goodness to the righteous
God his righteousness displays;
God, my rock, my strength and refuge,
just and true are all your ways.

Text Information
First Line: It is good to sing your praises
Title: It Is Good to Sing Your Praises
Publication Date: 1982
Meter: 87 87 D
Scripture: Psalm 92; Ephesians 2:20-21
Topic: Brevity & Frailty of Life; King, God/Christ as; Praise & Adoration
Language: English
Tune Information
Name: ELLESDIE
Meter: 87 87 D
Key: G Major
Source: J. Leavitt's Christian Lyre, 1831


Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 92:1-3
st. 2 = Ps. 92:4-11
st. 3 = Ps. 92: 12-15

This versification is a poetic summary of Psalm 92 that derives from the 1912 Psalter with minor alterations. See PHH 92 for textual commentary on Psalm 92.

Liturgical Use:
See PHH 92.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

ELLESDIE was set to this text in the 1912 Psalter and in every edition of the Psalter Hymnal. The anonymous tune (with bass line) dates from a collection of evangelistic hymns compiled by Joshua Leavitt (b. Heath, MA, 1794; d. New York, NY, 1873). After receiving a degree in law from Yale University, Leavitt worked as a teacher and lawyer. Be returned to Yale to study for the ministry and in 1825 was ordained in the Congregational Church in Stratford, Connecticut. In 1830 he began publishing The Evangelist, a weekly newspaper that printed many articles on antislavery, temperance, and religious revivals. That same year he edited and co-published The Christian Lyre, a popular shape-note tunebook.

ELLESDIE was published in the second volume of Christian Lyre (1833); there the tune was named DISCIPLE. The meaning of the tune name ELLESDIE is unclear–Robert McCutchan suggests that it stands for L.S.D., perhaps the initials of an unidentified person associated with this tune. ELLESDIE consists of four long lines in a modified rounded bar form (AA’BA’). Sing this tune in harmony with much enthusiasm.

Hubert P. Main (b. Ridgefield, CT, 1839; d. Newark, NJ, 1925) provided the harmony, first published in Winnowed Hymns (1873; that collection attributed the tune to Mozart, though no evidence supports that claim). Main came from a musical family: his father Sylvester, was a singing schoolteacher and gospel song composer who had moved to the United States from England. Although he only completed elementary school, Main was a prolific composer. Beginning at age fifteen, he produced more than a thousand hymn and anthem settings, as well as secular music. Many of his harmonizations stem from his editorial work on a variety of hymnals and his association with music publishers, including William Bradbury (PHH 114). He spent many years in the service of the firm that eventually became Hope Publishing Company.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


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