193. Surely It Is God Who Saves Me

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Text Information
First Line: Surely it is God who saves me
Title: Surely It Is God Who Saves Me
Versifier: Carl P. Daw, Jr. (1982)
Publication Date: 1982
Meter: 87 87 D
Scripture: Isaiah 12
Topic: Comfort & Encouragement; Deliverance; King, God/Christ as
Language: English
Copyright: Text © 1982, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Tune Information
Name: LORD, REVIVE US
Harmonizer: Dale Grotenhuis (1985)
Meter: 87 87 D
Key: F Major
Source: Early American
Copyright: Harmonization © 1987, CRC Publications


Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Isa. 12:2-4a
st. 2 = Isa. 12:4b-6

Isaiah 12 consists of two stanzas of praise (12: 1-3 and 4-6). Together they make up the "First Song of Isaiah," one of the "lesser" Old Testament canticles used by the medieval church. As songs of joy and praise for God's deliverance, these stanzas are the climax to a group of prophecies spanning Isaiah 7-11. In stanza 1, Isaiah 12:2 echoes Exodus 15:2 of the Song of Moses (see also 152), and 12:3 uses the "wells of living water" image, often a biblical symbol of salvation (John 4:10). Stanza 2 reflects the praise language that abounds in the book of Psalms. Carl P. Daw, Jr. (b. Louisville, KY, 1944), versified these passages in 1981 for The Hymnal 1982, the Episcopal Church hymnal published in 1985.

Daw was born into a Baptist preacher's family. He received degrees in English from Rice University and the University of Virginia (Ph.D. in 1970), and taught English at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia (1970-1978). In 1981 he received a divinity degree from the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee. After ordination in the Protestant Episcopal Church, he served Episcopal congregations in Virginia, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. In 1996 he was appointed executive director of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. Daw is a widely respected and often published author of numerous hymns and hymn articles. His texts were collected in A Year of Grace (1990), To Sing God's Praise (1992), and New Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1996).

Liturgical Use:
Daw suggests this song is suitable for baptism and as a general hymn of assurance; stanza 2 has a mission theme and may also reinforce Advent or Christmas themes, mentioning God's incarnation; Isaiah 12 is also one of the canticles appointed for daily morning prayer in various Christian prayer books.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

LORD, REVIVE US is an anonymous American tune first used for the hymn text "Savior, Visit Thy Plantation" by John Newton (PHH 462) in the 1868 Methodist collection The Revivalist, compiled by Joseph Hillman. The tune title derives from Newton's text, which uses the phrase "revive us" five times in its refrain. LORD, REVIVE US seems related to earlier nineteenth-century tunes such as HOLY MANNA (322) and PLEADING SAVIOR (603).

Dale Grotenhuis (PHH 4) harmonized the tune in 1985 for the Psalter Hymnal. In rounded bar form (AABA'), the music is well suited to part singing and also works well in canon (one measure); when singing in canon, do not use the harmony.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


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