Friday, September 21, 2007

My song is love unknown

I just felt like sharing one of my very favorite hymns, which is called "My Song Is Love Unknown." The words were written by Samuel Crossman, a 17th century Anglican minister, and the music is by John Ireland, a 20th century English composer.

It is just amazing to me how powerful the effect can be when beautiful music is combined with beautiful and true words, and this hymn is one of the most powerful I know. While reading or singing this hymn, I am often overwhelmed by its evocation of the almost unbelievable love for us that God demonstrated through the sacrifice of Jesus.

The words are below, and you can go here to listen to the music in a rather strange MIDI version. For some reason it sounds like a ghost is singing the tenor line, but it'll give you the idea. Anyway, please listen, read, and reflect if you like.

My Song Is Love Unknown

My song is love unknown, my Savior's love to me, love to the loveless shown that they might lovely be. O who am I that for my sake my Lord should take frail flesh, and die?

He came from his blest throne salvation to bestow, but men made strange, and none the longed-for Christ would know. But O my friend, my friend indeed, who at my need his life did spend.

Sometimes they strew his way, and his strong praises sing, resounding all the day hosannas to their King. Then "Crucify!" is all their breath, and for his death they thirst and cry.

Why, what hath my Lord done? What makes this rage and spite? He made the lame to run, he gave the blind their sight. Sweet injuries! Yet they at these themselves displease, and 'gainst him rise.

They rise, and needs will have my dear Lord made away; a murderer they save, the Prince of Life they slay. Yet steadfast he to suffering goes, that he his foes from thence might free.

In life no house, no home my Lord on earth might have; in death no friendly tomb but what a stranger gave. What may I say? Heaven was his home; but mine the tomb wherein he lay.

Here might I stay and sing, no story so divine; never was love, dear King, never was grief like thine. This is my friend, in whose sweet praise I all my days could gladly spend.

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