Alleluia, song of gladness

Full Text

1 Alleluia, song of gladness,
Voice of joy that cannot die;
Alleluia is the anthem
Ever raised by choirs on high;
In the house of God abiding
Thus they sing eternally.

2 Alleluia, thou resoundest,
True Jerusalem and free;
Alleluia, joyful mother,
All thy children sing with thee,
But by Babylon's sad waters
Mourning exiles now are we.

3 Alleluia cannot always
Be our song while here below;
Alleluia, our transgressions
Make us for a while forego;
For the solemn time is coming
When our tears for sin must flow.

4 Therefore in our hymns we pray Thee,
Grant us, blessed Trinity,
At the last to keep Thine Easter
With Thy faithful saints on high;
There to Thee for ever singing
Alleluia joyfully.

Source: Lutheran Service Book #417

Translator: J. M. Neale

Neale, John Mason, D.D., was born in Conduit Street, London, on Jan. 24, 1818. He inherited intellectual power on both sides: his father, the Rev. Cornelius Neale, having been Senior Wrangler, Second Chancellor's Medallist, and Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, and his mother being the daughter of John Mason Good, a man of considerable learning. Both father and mother are said to have been "very pronounced Evangelicals." The father died in 1823, and the boy's early training was entirely under the direction of his mother, his deep attachment for whom is shown by the fact that, not long before his death, he wrote of her as "a mother to whom I owe more than I can express." He was educated at Sherborne Grammar School, and was afterwards… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Alleluia, song of gladness, Voice of joy that cannot die
Title: Alleluia, song of gladness
Translator: J. M. Neale (1861)
Source: Latin Hymn, 11th Cent.
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Alleluia, dulce carmen. [Week before Septuagesima.] The earliest form in which this hymn is found is in three manuscripts of the 11th century in the British Museum. From a Durham manuscript of the 11th century, it was published in the Latin Hymns of the Anglo-Saxon Church (Surtees Society), 1851, p. 55. The text is in Daniel, i. No. 263, and with further readings in iv. p. 152; and in the Hymnarium Sarisuriense, 1851, p. 59. [Rev. W. A. Shoults, B.D.]

Translations in common use:—
3. Alleluia! song of sweetness. Voice of joy, eternal lay. By J. M. Neale. It appeared in the first edition Mediaeval Hymns, 1851, p. 130, in 4 stanzas of 6 lines, and was "corrected for the Hymnal Noted." Mediaeval Hymns, 2nd ed. p. 184), where it was given in its new form, in 1852, No. 46, and again in the 2nd ed. of the Mediaeval Hymns, 1863. This translation equals in popularity that of Chandler, but it is more frequently and extensively altered. Without noticing minor instances, we find the following: "Alleluia, song of sweetness,Voice of joy that cannot die" in Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1861 and 1875, and many others. "Hallelujah! song of gladness, Voice of joy that cannot die" in Thring's Collection, 1882, &c. Of these altered forms of Neale's text, that of Hymns Ancient & Modern, is most frequently adopted.

--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)




John Goss (PHH 164) composed LAUDA ANIMA (Latin for the opening words of Psalm 103) for this text in 1868. Along with his original harmonizations, intended to interpret the different stanzas, the tune was also included in the appendix to Robert Brown¬ Borthwick's Supplemental Hymn and Tune Book (18…

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Include 81 pre-1979 instances