Hymns & Music for 16th May 2021 recorded by Mel, St. Paul's Church Organist

Mel, St. Paul's Church Organist, writes:

Thursday of this week was Ascension Day and so not surprisingly, this week's suggested hymns reflect that theme. Hail the day... was written by the prolific writer, Charles Wesley, the younger brother of John, the founder of Methodism. Its tune 'Llanfair' is by Robert Williams, an extremely musical blind basket weaver from Anglesey. As a bonus item for the week I have provided an improvisation on it that I recorded on the famous Willis organ of St Nicholas in Kings Lynn in Norfolk a couple of years ago.

Improvisation on Llanfair - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bq7st4PhFWc

Another of the week's hymns, 'The saviour when to heaven he rose', is also from a non-conformist writer. Philip Doddridge turned down a wealthy friend's offer of training for the Anglican priesthood, preferring to pastor in a poor parish in Northampton where he contracted tuberculosis. When a wealthy patron again stepped forward to fund a health trip to Portugal he said, "I can as well go to heaven from Lisbon as from Northampton" and he did, dying in Lisbon soon after his arrival. The tune is the majestic 'Gonfalon royal' which takes the name from the other hymn for which it gets used 'The royal banners forward go', gonfalon being an Anglo-Norman word for banner.

Hail the day that sees him rise - https://youtu.be/JklNt3KA5K4

In Christ there is no east or west - https://youtu.be/rp-yQAwME1M

The Saviour when to heaven he rose - https://youtu.be/OdWcAIOQgiY

I the Lord of sea and sky - https://youtu.be/DdBIkqtQ69k