Thomas Kelly a pseudonym for Charles Wesley?

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Haruo's picture

Is there some way the system could be tweaked so it would stop producing absurdly wrong information like the notion that Thomas Kelly wrote "Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending"?

This sort of thing gives casual users, all too frequently, a much lower opinion of the database than they ought to have. I'm guessing there is one instance somewhere that makes this misattribution—or it might even have been Editor Error—but surely the oldest instances don't make this mistake, since Kelly wasn't up and running yet when the hymn came out, and surely the overwhelming preponderance of the instances attribute it to Wesley, with Cennick probably a distant second.


Also, when I uploaded a screenshot to illustrate the problem, why did it not appear when I posted my comment? It was there in the entry field when I posted, but nothing there now. The offending misattribution is the fourth or fifth down in this results page. (Assuming nothing changes before you read this, not always a safe assumption in a dynamic, evolving database, which is why I wanted to give static evidence.

There is probably not a way to stop the search results from reflecting "wrong" information. The information in search results comes from hymnal instances, and there are at least half a dozen of hymnals that credit Thomas Kelly as the author of "Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending." It may be that he made some alterations. John Julian has a helpful history of the text. We have the text written by Charles Wesley because he wrote the first verse. However, hymnals have variations of the text with different verses added in and attributed to various people.

You searched for the full text - meeting in the air - since full texts are an element of instances, your results will come from instances. There is not a simple explanation for why the instance that had Thomas Kelly as an author was selected, except that one of these instances had "meet him in the air" in the full text. The particular verse "meet him in the air" appears in is the verse beginning "Now Redemption long expected," which was written by Cennick. 

That's pretty much what I figured would be the case, but I find it sad because it leads to a fair number of people I deal with complaining that "Hymnary can't be trusted". I wish there were some way for someone in Grand Rapids to click a checkbox and thereby cause certain potential choices to override all others in certain application contexts. 

Why did it have me upload a screenshot as part of my New Topic post and then not show it in the Forum?

Tell those who complain that the place to look for trustworthy information on Hymnary is the text or tune summary (authority) pages. Search results come from the instances, which means from the hymnals themselves, which may not be reliable. We are also looking into whether information from the authority can override information from the instance for some searches. Also both links in both your posts show the search results.

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