Hymn Trivia




FIRST HYMN IN ENGLISH WRITTEN FOR PUBLIC WORSHIP

Behold the Glories of the Lamb (Isaac Watts, circa 1688).


OLDEST HYMN FOR WHICH WE KNOW THE AUTHOR

Shepherd of Tender Youth (Clement of Alexandria, circa 200).


MOST POPULAR HYMN

Based on NetHymnal traffic, Amazing Grace is the runaway winner. Blessed Assurance is the runner up.


HYMNS SUNG IN MOVIES THAT WON OR WERE NOMINATED FOR ACADEMY AWARDS


HYMNS SUNG AT CELEBRITY WEDDINGS & FUNERALS


HYMNS WHOSE AUTHORS NEVER HEARD THEM SUNG


HYMNS WRITTEN SHORTLY BEFORE THE AUTHOR’S DEATH


HYMNISTS THAT WERE MURDERED


HYMNS INSPIRED BY MURDERS


HYMNS THAT FIRST APPEARED IN NOVELS


HYMNS WRITTEN BY NON-CHRISTIANS


TUNES SHARED WITH SECULAR SONGS


MOST PROLIFIC HYMNIST

Probably Frances Jane (Fan­ny) Crosby (1820-1915): she wrote over 8,000 hymns. It’s said ed­it­ors didn’t want to pub­lish so many hymns by the same lyr­i­cist in one book, so they asked her to use pseu­do­nyms (she used over 200). For a list of Fan­ny’s hymns that we have, click here.

Runners up for most pro­li­fic hymn­ist in­clude Charles Wes­ley, George Ma­the­son, and Isaac Watts.


YOUNGEST HYMNIST

Our guess is John Milton, who was 15 years old when he wrote Let Us with a Gladsome Mind. Runners up include:


OLDEST HYMNIST

The current contender is Fanny Crosby: The day be­fore her death at age 95, she wrote her last hymn, to console a neighbor who had lost a child. Another work from Fanny’s later years is The Blood-Washed Throng, which she wrote at age 86.


BLIND HYMNISTS


HYMNISTS WHO DIED OUTSIDE THEIR NATIVE COUNTRY


NOBEL PRIZE WINNING HYMNISTS


HYMNISTS WITH FOSSILS NAMED AFTER THEM


HYMNISTS WITH WELL KNOWN SECULAR ACHIEVEMENTS

ADAMS, John Quincy 1767-1848 American President The Hour-Glass
ADAMS, Sarah 1805-1848 Actress, poet Nearer, My God, to Thee
ADDISON, Joseph 1672-1719 Writer, politician The Spacious Firmament on High
ADOLPHUS, Gustavus 1594-1632 King of Sweden Fear Not, O Little Flock
ALCOTT, Louisa May 1832-1888 Poet A Little Kingdom I Possess
BALCH, Emily Greene 1867-1961 Nobel prize winner Now Let Us All Arise and Sing
BARING-GOULD, Sabine 1834-1924 Writer Onward, Christian Soldiers
BARTON, Bernard 1784-1849 Poet Walk in the Light
BATES, Katharine Lee 1859-1929 Poet The Kings of the East Are Riding
BLAKE, William 1757-1827 Poet And Did Those Feet in Ancient Time
BOWRING, John 1792-1872 Diplomat, politician
BRADFORD, William 1589-1657 Colonial governor And Truly It Is a Most Glorious Thing
BRONTË, Anne 1820-1849 Writer
BROWNING, Elizabeth Barrett 1806-1861 Poet
BRYANT, William Cullen 1794-1878 Poet
BUNYAN, John 1628-1688 Author He Who Would Valiant Be
BYROM, John 1692-1763 Poet, diarist Christians, Awake, Salute the Happy Morn
CAMPBELL, John D. S. 1845-1914 Politician
CARLYLE, Thomas 1795-1881 Writer, historian A Safe Stronghold Our God Is Still
CHESTERTON, Gilbert Keith 1874-1936 Author O God of Earth and Altar
COWPER, William 1731-1800 Poet
COX, Christopher Christian 1816-1882 Politician Silently the Shades of Evening
DWIGHT, Timothy 1752-1817 College president
DAVIES, Samuel 1723-1761 College president Great God of Wonders
DRYDEN, John 1631-1700 Poet Come, Creator Spirit, by Whose Aid
EMERSON, Ralph Waldo 1803-1882 Poet We Love the Venerable House
GLADSTONE, William Ewart 1809-1898 Statesman O Lead My Blindness by the Hand
GRANT, Robert 1778-1838 Statesman O Worship the King
GURNEY, Dorothy Frances 1858-1932 Poet O Perfect Love
HAY, John 1838-1905 Statesman, diplomat  
HOLMES, Oliver Wendell 1809-1894 Poet, teacher
JOHNSON, James Weldon 1871-1938 Poet, diplomat, civil rights leader Lift Every Voice and Sing
KEBLE, John 1792-1866 Poet, teacher
KEY, Francis Scott 1779-1843 Lyricist, Lawyer
KILMER, Joyce 1886-1918 Poet No Longer of Him Be It Said
LANIER, Sidney 1842-1881 Poet
LOWELL, James Russell 1819-1891 Poet Once to Every Man and Nation
MILLAY, Edna St. Vincent 1892-1950 Poet O God, I Cried, No Dark Disguise
MILTON, John 1608-1674 Poet
MOORE, Clement Clarke 1779-1863 Writer Lord of Life, All Praise Excelling
MOORE, Thomas 1779-1852 Poet, nationalist Come, Ye Disconsolate
PARK, John Edgar 1879-1956 College president We Would See Jesus
POPE, Alexander 1688-1744 Poet Rise, Crowned with Light
RAYMOND, Rossiter W. 1840-1918 Novelist, government official Morning Red
ROSSETTI, Christina 1830-1894 Poet
SCOTT, Walter 1771-1832 Poet That Day of Wrath
SPENSER, Edmund 1553-1599 Poet Most Glorious Lord of Life
STOWE, Harriet Beecher 1812-1896 Author
TATE, Nahum 1652-1715 Playwright, poet laureate While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks
TENNYSON, Alfred 1809-1892 Poet Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New
VAN DYKE, Henry 1852-1933 Professor, diplomat Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
WHITTIER, John Greenleaf 1807-1892 Poet Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
WINNER, Septimus 1827-1902 Poet, composer Whispering Hope

HYMNIST WITH THE MOST UNUSUAL LIFE STORY

A very subjective category, but our vote goes to Daniel de Marbelle.


DENOMINATIONS WITH FORMAL HYMN PROCEDURES

John Wesley’s singing rules for Methodists (he had a Method for everything!):

  1. Learn the tune.
     
  2. Sing them as they are printed.
     
  3. Sing all. “If it is a cross to you, take it up and you will find a blessing.”
     
  4. Sing lustily and with a good courage.
     
  5. Sing modestly. Do not bawl.
     
  6. Sing in time. Do not run before or stay behind.
     
  7. Above all, sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this, attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually.



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