Category Archives: Poetry and Songs

The Psalms of Davey #10 – “O blest and only Potentate”

This is the tenth of my cycle of ten Hymns, called “The Psalms of Davey”. They are being reproduced in a special category on this blog one after another. In only one case is the tune my own (that’s this one – number ten). In other cases, please follow the links to get to the midi for the tunes, courtesy of To find the category of “Psalms of Davey” please review the categories section in the side bar.


(Words and music, Uncle Davey, Cambridge, 1986. Tune name “Alexandra”.) In fact this is the only one of the hymns where I prefer my own tune, Alexandra, which is an 8888 metre tune.

At the moment I don’t have a version of the tune Alexandra to upload.

My suggested chord progression, if the melody starts on E, is C, C, d, e, C / C, G, e, F, G7 / d, d, e, F, G7 / d, F, d, F, C, (G7).

The hymn was written as a one-off, at a different time, rather later than the others, after it seemed that I had stopped writing hymns. I did not even keep it over the years in the same book with the others. Nevertheless, it must be evident that it is much of a muchness with the other hymns written by me, possibly the best of them from a poetic viewpoint, with much theology. Probably if someone felt they could take only one hymn from my collection and add it to a hymn book for use in churches, I suppose I would most rather that this one were chosen, especially as it has its own tune, with number six as possibly second choice.

As befits a closing hymn, this one is based on a New Testament doxology, in this case a pauline doxology for Timothy, that tells us among many other verses that Christ is God. If you have been looking at all the hymns from the beginning of the collection to this, the end, thank you for your patience in bearing with me. I consider it a tremendous priviledge to have a readership, and am always delighted with any feedback, either by mail or on the comments section.  Another project I have in mind for the future is a page linking to my most favorite hymns of all time.

God bless, and please enjoy the articles and other parts of my site.

O blest and only Potentate,
Thou King of Kings and Lord of Lords
I look unto Thy mercies great
And I am lost, am lost for words.

Thou didst in kindness set Thy love
Upon this wicked soul of mine
E’en or Thou camest from above
E’en or the sun, the sun did shine.

Thou hast in anguish lovéd me
When beat the sun upon Thy brow
When nailéd to the accurséd tree
For me at Calvary wast Thou.

T’was then all bleeding on the rood
That Thou didst mine atonement make
Thou didst eclipse the wrath of God
In dying, dying for my sake.

Although Thou righteous art alway
And glorious in Thine holiness
Yet didst Thou take my plague away
And clothe me, clothe me in Thy dress.

Christ, Thou hast scanned mine inmost thought
Yea, known mine every grief and care
And  Thou hast intercession wrought
And holy, spotless made my prayer.

Shall I not say; Thou art my King?
My Lord and God I shall adore
Thy name proclaim, thy glories sing
Henceforth, till death, and evermore.


“I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” (1 Timothy 6 vv 13-16)

First published 27th June 2004, on


The Psalms of Davey #9 – “The Earth had once one Speech o’erall”

This is the ninth of my cycle of ten Hymns, called “The Psalms of Davey”. They are being reproduced in a special category on this blog one after another. In only one case is the tune my own (that’ll be number ten). In other cases, please follow the links to get to the midi for the tunes, courtesy of To find the category of “Psalms of Davey” please review the categories section in the right hand side bar.


(Words Uncle Davey, Hemel Hempstead, 31st December 1984. Music Charles Collignon (1725-1785) Tune name “University”.) The tune is often sung to Scottish Psalms arranged in common metre. The Scottish Church made many arrangements of scripture in common metre, which is the metre we see here, because they believed in keeping all worship as close to the bible as possible, and what better than to actually sing the Bible, and hence there is a whole book of metrical Psalms for use by Presbyterians and it has various other portions of the Word of God other than the Psalms also in metre.

This was my attempt at putting into common metre a particular favorite passage of mine, namely the explanation in Genesis 11 verses 1-9 of where languages appeared. (There is more discussion of this matter in my article “On the Origin of Speeches” on this site, if you have any doubt in your mind about the absolute literal reliability of the scriptures with regard to the Babel event). Note also the ‘us’ of ‘Let Us go down’. The triune God was involved in the confounding of the Adamic Language, and Christ himself, the second Adam and the Living Word, was involved in providing the very words of all the post Adamic living languages!

Collignon is a little known figure, this tune being the only one of his which is generally used. It is named one assumes for Cambridge University, where he lived and taught, and where I also lived and learned, but two centuries later, worshipping the same Jesus, who had not changed a bit over that time.

First published 27th June 2004, Go back to list of hymns, Go back to home page or Go to Bulletin Board
(NB. The picture to the right was taken in 1985, this is how I looked when I wrote this hymn.)

The earth had once one speech o’erall
One tongue men used, to tell
From th’east to Shinar’s plain they came
And settled there to dwell

Among themselves did they conspire
“Bricks let us make,” said they
“To building stones them throughly burn
And slime for morter lay.”

“Go to,” said they, “a city great,
A tow’r to reach the sky,
We shall construct unto ourselves
Our name to glorify

Lest scattered far abroad we be
The whole earth’s face upon”
The LORD then from on high beheld
Their tow’r and city strong.

The LORD said “See, this people is
By language unified
Now can no thing their power restrain
Their will to realise”

“Now let Us unto them descend
Their language to confound
That each the other’s speech and tongue
No more may understand.”

And so the LORD did scatter them
All o’er the earth from thence.
Their city no more could they build.
It’s name is Babel hence:

That there the LORD in mighty pow’r
The earth’s speech did confound,
And He from thence did scatter them
The whole earth’s face around.

Ode to a Lazy Subordinate

(I don’t really mean this, it’s just a humorous poem, which I wrote ten years ago, and just came across it going through old papers…)

If you were a daphnia,
A hydra or a snail,
You’d be more scared of a clown loach
Than of a killer whale.

Small things bother the little ones
Great things bother the great
So don’t come at me with your issues
Trying to upwardly delegate.

Planned Childhood

This came to me on the plane the other day. It is not really a sonnet as they are supposed to be iambic pentameter, and this is iambic quadrameter, but a verse is a verse for better or worse. See if you like it.


To sing a new song to the Lord

And yet include there no strange fire

To take up psaltery and lyre

And sing according to His Word


How can the song be new, and yet

Stay in the range that God commands?

Right ways to praise and worship’s bounds,

These God within His Word has set.


The Gospel is the song that’s new

New from the cross and empty tomb

This song is new yet ancient too

Planned ere a child had breached a womb.


We are the children planned to be

God’s own, a people He set free.


Oh yes you were!

Oh yes you were!

Two Sides, Two Brides

First Adam had a wound in his side
When the rib was taken for First Eve,
So the Second, for His longed-for Bride,
From His side blood and water gave.
Along the length of Longin’s spear
Flowed that wherewith the Church is cleansed
Which lets the Second Eve appear,
Which, from the first, God did intend.

The Psalms of Davey #8 – “The Lord above is keeping his watch upon my soul”

This is the eighth of my cycle of ten Hymns, called “The Psalms of Davey”. They are being reproduced in a special category on this blog one after another. In only one case is the tune my own (that’ll be number ten). In other cases, please follow the links to get to the midi for the tunes, courtesy of To find the category of “Psalms of Davey” please review the categories section in the side bar.


(Words Uncle Davey, Voronezh, Russia, October-November 1985. Music John Pyke Hullah (1812-1884) Tune name “Bentley”. The tune is usually sung to the excellent hymn “Sometimes a light surprises the christian while he sings”, by the very famous poet and hymnwriter William Cowper. The hymn is such a favorite of mine that I would like to put Cowper’s words here for your perusal first:

Sometimes a light surprises the Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord, Who rises with healing in His wings:
When comforts are declining, He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining, to cheer it after rain.

In holy contemplation we sweetly then pursue
The theme of God’s salvation, and find it ever new.
Set free from present sorrow, we cheerfully can say,
Let the unknown tomorrow bring with it what it may.

It can bring with it nothing but He will bear us through;
Who gives the lilies clothing will clothe His people, too;
Beneath the spreading heavens, no creature but is fed;
And He Who feeds the ravens will give His children bread.

Though vine nor fig tree neither their wonted fruit should bear,
Though all the field should wither, nor flocks nor herds be there;
Yet God the same abiding, His praise shall tune my voice,
For while in Him confiding, I cannot but rejoice.

I have used Hullah’s tune for a similar topic, confidence in God, which seems to echo through the notes of this hymn. I cannot compare my poetry to that of Cowper, for all I might like to try, but at least the theme is the same.

First published 27th June 2004, on

The Lord above is keeping
His watch upon my soul
His guardian care unsleeping
Keeps me both strong and whole
His angels watch my feet tread
They make secure my track
My going out is guarded
So too my coming back.

The nets and gins of satan
Are set to do me harm
Yet God my Father keeps me
With His almighty arm
The greatest tests and trials
Can scarcely me distress
Nor demons’ practised wiles
For long my soul depress.

The providence and caring
Of God, my Lord on high
Shall keep me from despairing
And guide me till I die
Till I, with eyes immortal
His guardian angels see
Yea more, at heaven’s portal
Sublime divinity.

“The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” (Psalm 121 v 8)

Come thou fount of every blessing

Playout date: 22 October 2006
Camera: Logitech Webcam
Post Production: Windows Movie Maker – slight use
Location: Home
Other people featured: None
Genre: Hymn
Music used:’s arrangement of hymn tune “Hyfrydol
Languages used: English
Animals featured: None

The beautiful hymn by Robert Robinson, this time sung to the tune Hyfrydol.

I did both voices, the melody and the bass part. Can you work out which is the one I’m singing on the video?

An interesting story about this hymn, courtesy of where I also got the midi (this is allowed by them, by the way, as long as you credit, which I am doing)

Robert Robinson had a difficult time with his faith in the latter part of his life, having been converted at 17 and having written this and other hymns as a young man. The story is told of how one day, he en­count­ered a wo­man who was stu­dy­ing a hymn­al, and she asked how he liked the hymn she was hum­ming. In tears, he re­plied, “Madam, I am the poor un­hap­py man who wrote that hymn ma­ny years ago, and I would give a thou­sand worlds, if I had them, to en­joy the feel­ings I had then.”

Restu kun mi

Playout date: 3 October 2006
Camera: Logitech Webcam
Post Production: None
Location: Home
Other people featured: None
Genre: Song only
Music used: Abide with me Karaoke track
Languages used: Esperanto
Animals featured: None

This is, obviously, Abide with me sung in Esperanto and it has been very well received by Esperantists, some of whom have asked me to do more similar pieces and I have always intended to do them – for reasons of the way my family has developed that intention hasn’t been easy to put into fruition.

For the record I didn’t do the translation – as explained in the comments, most of which are in Esperanto on YT – I took the Esperanto version from the standard little green Esperanto hymnbook “la Esperanta Himnaro” which contains hundreds of well translated hymns from around the Christian world and is a great joy if you can but lay hands on a copy.


Related articles


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,284 other followers

%d bloggers like this: