The author for “I Need Thee Every Hour,” Annie Sherwood Hawks, wrote over 400 hymns in her lifetime. Born in Hoosick, New York on May 28, 1835, Hawks had a love for writing poetry, and her poems were published in local newspapers while she was still in her youth.
Annie Hawks was the mother of three children when the hymn for which she is best known was written. Annie later wrote, “I remember well the morning when in the midst of the daily cares of my home, I was so filled with the sense of the nearness of the Master, that wondering how one could live without him either in joy or pain, these words ‘I Need Thee Every Hour’ were ushered into my mind. The hymn was wafted out to the world on the wings of love and joy, rather than under the stress of great personal sorrow. It was not until long years after when the shadow of a great loss fell over my way that I understood something of the comforting in the words I have been permitted to write.”
Read more here.
This week's release, A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief, is famous for having been sung by John Taylor in Carthage jail just before Joseph and Hyrum Smith were murdered on June 27, 1844.
But did you know that the tune Taylor sang in Carthage is not the same as the one in our hymnbook with which we're all now familiar? Check out the two articles below for more info. And I'd love to hear if any of you know where we could listen to or see the sheet music for the original tune as sung by John Taylor.
On a related note, I'm excited to see that the Church has announced today that it too will be releasing new content each Friday through the end of the year. Who else will be releasing new content each Friday?
This week's release is a classic, Sweet Hour of Prayer.
"The lyric of “Sweet Hour of Prayer” came from William W. Walford (1772-1850), an obscure, blind lay preacher who served in the hamlet of Coleshill, Warwickshire, England. He owned a small trinket shop in the village where he sold shoehorns and other intricate items he had whittled, fashioned and polished from bones. Walford memorized many chapters of the Bible, quoting them verbatim in his sermons; some folks thought he had memorized the entire Bible. William also composed poetic lines of verse … and he prayed.
"The story goes that a Congregational minister and friend, Thomas Salmon, stopped by Walford’s shop one day in 1842. Walford asked if Salmon would write down his new poem, “Sweet Hour of Prayer.” Three years later, Salmon was in the U.S. and showed the poem to the editor of the New York Observer, who printed it in the Sept. 13, 1845 issue. About 15 years later, William B. Bradbury (1816-1868), a composer from New York, wrote the tune that is usually associated with this song.” (http://www.homecomingmagazine.com/art…/sweet-hour-of-prayer/)
This week's new release is "Come, Come, Ye Saints," one of the best-known Latter-day Saint hymns.The lyrics were written in 1846 by Mormon poet William Clayton.The hymn has been called the anthem of the nineteenth-century Mormon pioneers.
Clayton wrote the hymn "All is Well" on April 15, 1846, as his Mormon pioneer caravan rested at Locust Creek, Iowa, over 100 miles west of its origin city of Nauvoo, Illinois. Just prior to writing the lyrics, Clayton learned that he had just become the father to a brand-new healthy boy in Nauvoo. It was set to the music of a popular English folk tune, "All is Well."