Text by Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Considered one of the finest paraphrases written by Isaac Watts, "O God, Our Help in Ages Past" expresses a strong note of assurance, promise, and hope in the LORD as recorded in the first part of Psalm 90, even though the entire psalm has a recurring theme of lament. Watts wrote the paraphrase in nine stanzas around 1714 and first published the text in his Psalms of David (1719). The Psalter Hymnal includes the most well-known stanzas. The first line, originally "Our God, our help … ," was changed to "O God, our help… “by John Wesley in his Collection of Psalms and Hymns. (1738).
Though no firm documentation exists, ST. ANNE was probably composed by William Croft, possibly when he was organist from 1700-1711 at St. Anne's Church in Soho, London, England. (According to tradition, St. Anne was the mother of the Virgin Mary.) The tune was first published in A Supplement to the New Version (6th ed., 1708) as a setting for Psalm 42. ST. ANNE became a setting for "O God, Our Help in Ages Past" in Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861), and the two have been inseparable.
The Hymn starts after an introduction by William Thomas Best (1826-1897).
A hymn about change and steadfastness for the new year.