This is the 9th entry in the Advent-Hymn-of-the-Day project. Once again, the subject at hand is that of St. John the Baptist.
When selecting the hymn for the season of Advent, this is a hymn that I'd always say: "NEXT year, I'll DO it!" But I never did...
To do a "new" one, you have to drop an "old" one, and this hymn didn't quite seem on the same level as others like "On Jordan's bank", or "Hark!, a thrilling voice is sounding", so "next year" never came.
However, it is an excellent melody, with a sprightly feel to it, a full range, and a nice shape. The words are good, but once again, they just never "excited"me.
The name of the tune is "Ascension", but I've never seen it paired with words other than these.
See what YOU think!
Also, don't expect a big finish, as the words dictate a "relaxed" ending, and that's how I played it.
The text is by James Lewis Milligan (1876-1961), alt., and the music is by Henry Hugh Bancfroft (1904-1988), who was an Englishman who made his career in Canada.
MORE John the Baptist on the horizon... ;-)
There's a voice in the wilderness crying
A call from the ways untrod.
Prepare in the desert a highway,
A highway for our God!
The vallies shall be exalted,
The lofty hills brought low;
Make straight all the crooked places
Where the Lord our God may go!
O Zion, that bringest good tidings,
Get thee up to the heights and sing!
Proclaim to a desolate people
The coming of their King.
Like the flowers of the field they perish,
Like grass our works decay,
The power and pomp of nations
Shall pass like a dream away;
But the word of our God endureth,
The arm of the Lord is strong;
He stands in the midst of nations,
And he will right the wrong.
He shall his flock like a shepherd,
The lambs he'll gently hold;
To pastures of peace he'll lead them,
And bring them safe to his fold.
Words, James Lewis Milligan (1876-1961), alt.
Music, Henry Hugh Bancfroft (1904-1988)