184. LORD, You Have Searched Me

Text Information
First Line: LORD, you have searched me and you know
Title: LORD, You Have Searched Me
Reviser: Marie J. Post (1986)
Meter: LM
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Will of God; Creation; Providence
Source: Psalter, 1912, alt.
Copyright: Text © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Composer: Henry K. Oliver (1832)
Meter: LM
Key: E♭ Major

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 139:1-6
st. 2 = Ps. 139:7-10
st. 3 = Ps. 139:13-14
st. 4 = Ps. 139:15-16
st. 5 = Ps. 139:23-24

A versification of much of Psalm 139, "LORD, You Have Searched Me" comes from the 1912 Psalter; Marie J. Post (PHH 5) modified it in 1986 for the Psalter Hymnal. Stanzas 1 and 5, following verses 1 and 23-24 of the biblical text, frame the entire psalm. See PHH 139 for further commentary on Psalm 139.

Liturgical Use:
See PHH 139.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Henry Kemble Oliver (b. Beverly, MA, 1800; d. Salem, MA, 1885) composed FEDERAL STREET in 1832, possibly as an imitation of earlier psalm tunes in long meter. He took it to a music class taught by Lowell Mason (who may have contributed to the harmony); Mason (PHH 96) published it in his Boston Academy Collection of Church Music (1836).The tune name refers to the street in Boston where Oliver's boyhood church stood, al1 to the street in Salem where Oliver's wife, Sally, was “reared, wooed, won, and married.”

Kemble was educated at Harvard and Dartmouth. He taught in the public schools of Salem (1818-1842) and was superintendent of the Atlantic Cotton Mills in Lawrence, Massachusetts (1848-1858). His civic service included being mayor of Lawrence (1859¬1861) and Salem (1877-1880), state treasurer (1861-1865), and organizer of the Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics and Labor (1867-1873). Oliver was organist at several churches, including Park Street Congregational Church in Boston, North Church in Salem, and the Unitarian Church in Lawrence. A founder of the Mozart Association and several choral societies in Salem, he published his hymn tunes in Hymn and Psalm Tunes (1860) and Original Hymn Tunes (1875).

While the text in this song often consists of two long lines, this tune unfortunately insists on four phrases. Trained choirs can easily couple the short phrases into the longer units the text calls for, but congregations may need persistent help from the organist or choir to complete the longer lines. Sing this tune in harmony. Try the alternate tune MELCOMBE (274) for a closer match of textual lines to musical phrases.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

MIDI file: MIDI Preview
(Faith Alive Christian Resources)
More media are available on the text authority and tune authority pages.

Suggestions or corrections? Contact us


It looks like you are using an ad-blocker. Ad revenue helps keep us running. Please consider white-listing Hymnary.org or subscribing to eliminate ads entirely and help support Hymnary.org.