I was just looking at a Hal Leonard publication, Modern Hymns, and was so upset I put this on my Facebook page:
A rant: There's something unethical, if not downright unchristian, about Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin and J. D. Walt claiming to be the authors of the "words and music" of a song whose stanzas, set to what for all the world looks like "Hamburg", read:
When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died,
my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.
See from His head, His hands, His feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were an off'ring far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.
I know it's not the singer-refrainwriters' fault exactly — Hal Leonard Corporation and/or Worshiptogether.com Songs and sixsteps Music and/or EMI GMC Publishing is the primary culprit — but how can people expect their own legitimate copyrights (in this case, the refrain and its tune) to be respected when they tread like that on the memories of Watts and Mason?
I see that the Hymnary.org page on this version at least lists Watts and Mason ahead of their usurpers, but I think it would be nice to have a note about just how little of the credit they rightfully own. The Hal Leonard publication in question doesn't even mention Watts or Mason... They should be made to feel shame. IMO.