We ask for donations here just twice a year. Before you hit the "close" button, would you please consider a gift to keep Hymnary.org going? Even small amounts help, and they also let us know you're behind us and support what we do. Last year, Hymnary had 11.3 million users from 243 countries around the globe, people like you who love hymns! To serve our many, many users well takes money, and we have limited sources of revenue. This fund drive is one such source. You can make your tax-deductible contribution by sending a check to Hymnary.org at 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, or you can click the Donate button below. From the entire Hymnary.org team, our grateful thanks.

ST. THOMAS (Williams vs. Ashworth, and Handel)

You are here

Haruo's picture

I'm looking at the various hymns about St. Thomas and hymn tunes named for him (and the texts used with them) and I discovered that there are (now, were) two instances listed as ST. THOMAS (Williams) that are C.M. texts, whereas that is pretty much the epitome of a Short Meter tune. Both are in BoP1918 (#23 and #24 if I recall correctly). I removed the authority links, as I am morally certain the tune is NOT Williams. I don't have the book in front of me, so I can't be sure what the tune IS, but from the Source note I strongly suspect that it should be ST. THOMAS (Ashworth), which is a C.M. tune that well suits the texts. Would someone who has access to that hymnal please look it up and insert the appropriate authority link? Thanks in advance! ;-)

I also note that the tune authority page for ST. THOMAS (Williams) seems to imply that Handel composed it, although the Psalter Handbook information indicates it is truly by Williams as advertised. Is there a way to deprecate that Handel link so it doesn't appear prominently in the authority? 

Also, does anyone have any information (or even speculation) as to how/when/where/by-whose-hand the tune acquired the name of the Saint? "Soldiers of Christ, Arise" doesn't seem like a particularly thomasoid text. Is it named for some obscure parish church in Leeds or something?


St. THOMAS'S was the title given this tune by Aaron Williams, when its short version was first published, in Williams' New Universal Psalmodist (1770) --- one among ten tunes named for saints. The way they are given (in the possessive) does seem to imply they are names of churches. 

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.