Friday, April 07, 2017

Singing the Faith: Day 33: Songs for the Seasons

My song is love unknown

This beautiful, meditative song, often sung during Holy Week was originally a poem by Samuel Crossman (1624-83). Crossman was a member of the clergy of Bristol Cathedral.
This was one of a number of poems he wrote, and may have been sung as a hymn in his lifetime. It was only rediscovered, however, in the 20th Century, when it was set to music by John Ireland  just after WW1. Ireland, was organist at a number of London churches, and reputedly composed the tune for this hymn in 15 minutes over lunch. . The hymn observes the suffering and death of Jesus, and wonders how people could treat an innocent man so cruelly. It recognises that he didn’t deserve what happened, but that he willingly bore the brunt of the anger of the world out of love for humanity, love which was often “unknown” and unacknowledged.

1.My song is love unknown,
My Saviour’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I,
That for my sake
My Lord should take
Frail flesh and die?

2.He came from His blest throne
Salvation to bestow;
But men made strange, and none
The longed-for Christ would know:
But O! my Friend,
My Friend indeed,
Who at my need
His life did spend.

4.Sometimes they strew His way,
And His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King:
Then “Crucify!”
is all their breath,
And for His death
they thirst and cry.

5.Why, what hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
He gave the blind their sight,
Sweet injuries!
Yet they at these
Themselves displease,
and ’gainst Him rise.

6.They rise and needs will have
My dear Lord made away;
A murderer they save,
The Prince of life they slay,
Yet cheerful He
to suffering goes,
That He His foes
from thence might free.

7.In life no house, no home,
My Lord on earth might have;
In death no friendly tomb,
But what a stranger gave.
What may I say?
Heav'n was his home;
But mine the tomb
Wherein he lay.

8.Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King!
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend,
in Whose sweet praise
I all my days
could gladly spend.
  •    Why do you think people find it so easy to treat the innocent with cruelty? Have you ever treated someone in a way which you were ashamed of afterwards? 

No comments:

Post a Comment