Category Archives: The Psalms of Davey – My hymns

The Psalms of Davey is a cycle of ten hymns written by me many years ago, in England and in Russia. I may add to them one day, but in the main I said in these hymns what I wanted to say in the main, and they make up a cycle I am happy with. Please go ahead and sing them in your meetings. The links to the tunes are given in the posts wherever possible.

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 http://www.cyberhymnal.org To find the category of “Psalms of Davey” please review the categories section in the side bar.

10. “O BLEST AND ONLY POTENTATE”

(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.

1.
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.

2.
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.

3.
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.

4.
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.

5.
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.

6.
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.

7.
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 usenetposts.com

 

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 http://www.cyberhymnal.org To find the category of “Psalms of Davey” please review the categories section in the right hand side bar.

9. “THE EARTH HAD ONCE ONE SPEECH O’ERALL”

(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 8.6.8.6 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.)

1.
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

2.
Among themselves did they conspire
“Bricks let us make,” said they
“To building stones them throughly burn
And slime for morter lay.”

3.
“Go to,” said they, “a city great,
A tow’r to reach the sky,
We shall construct unto ourselves
Our name to glorify

4.
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.

5.
The LORD said “See, this people is
By language unified
Now can no thing their power restrain
Their will to realise”

6.
“Now let Us unto them descend
Their language to confound
That each the other’s speech and tongue
No more may understand.”

7.
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:

8.
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.

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 http://www.cyberhymnal.org To find the category of “Psalms of Davey” please review the categories section in the side bar.

8 . “THE LORD ABOVE IS KEEPING HIS WATCH UPON MY SOUL”

(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 usenetposts.com

1.
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.

2.
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.

3.
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)

The Psalms of Davey #7 – “I sought the praise of sinners”


This is the seventh 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 http://www.cyberhymnal.org To find the category of “Psalms of Davey” please review the categories section in the side bar.

7. “I SOUGHT THE PRAISE OF SINNERS”

(Words Uncle Davey, Voronezh, Russia, 12th October 1985. Music Chretien d’Urhan (1790-1845) Tune name “Rutherford“. People interested in historical curiosities, don’t overlook to click on the link I gave to the wikipedia article on the composer, as his life was interesting and the end of it something of an enigma.)

The tune is named for Samuel Rutherford, and is normally sung to Anne Cousin’s hymn The sands of time are sinking, which when unabridged is one of the longest hymns in use, as well as some of the best religious poetry in the English language.

My text cannot compare in beauty with the usual use of the tune I have selected for it, but the state of mind in it is something which I, and I am sure not only I, have needed to face up to again and again. Pride is a very sneaky sin, you can even feel pride for believing you’ve dealt with your pride. I don’t think I’ve managed to perfectly rid myself of wrongful pride for more than a few seconds of my entire waking life, if that, which is why I cannot but hope on the mercy of God, and why I say that those Christians who believe we can only endure to the end and be saved if we become somehow free of sin, (which when I compare that to my own experience seems frankly laughable) and who reject the doctrine of eternal security of believers unless they can attain to some sinless perfection on earth – these people either don’t have the same problems as I do or they just gloss over them. Actually it is simply a lie from the devil, who will put anything in a person’s mind that will stop them from going to God repeatedly for forgiveness as often as he goes to the tap for water, which is the true experience of the penitent sinner. I hope someone out there is blessed by these words as they resonate with your own experience.

1.
I sought the praise of sinners,
Their glance and their regard
I sought their admiration
And now my heart is hard
Lord, make me poor in spirit
That I might humble be
Cut back my vain delusions
Be all in all to me.

2.
My soul is sick and suffering
From self-idolatry
Lord, now I pray Thee, cleanse me
From sinful pride me free
O set me free from bondage
From seeking praise of men
And may I seek Thy glory
Not vaunt myself again.

3.
This hypocrite repentant
Lord, purge in sovereign grace
And may my spirit’s leaven
Dissolve before Thy face
Lord, grant me self-abasement
And singleness of mind
To worship Thee for only
In Thee my all I find.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5 v 3)

Psalm of Davey #6 – For Me To Live Is Christ


This is the sixth 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 http://www.cyberhymnal.org

6. “FOR ME TO LIVE IS CHRIST”

Words Uncle Davey, Voronezh, Russia, 10th October 1985. Music Robert Jackson (1842-1914) Tune name “Trentham”. The tune appears to be named after the village of Trentham near Stoke-on-Trent, England, which has a pleasant lake backed by hills and the river Trent and the canal nearby. It is my favourite of the four famous tunes we have from this composer. It is of course a Short Meter tune, and ideal for meditative hymns. Most commonly it is sung to “Breathe on me breath of God”.

First published on the net on 24th April 2004

(NB. The picture to the right was taken in 1985, this is how I looked when I wrote this hymn.)

1.
For me to live is Christ,
For me to die is gain
Lord, may this blessed truth me guide,
In comfort and in pain.

2.
Not I it is who live
But Christ doth dwell within.
My former, carnal self hath died
And I am dead to sin.

3.
The life which now I live
I live by faith alone,
In Christ who loved me and gave
Himself, me to atone.

4.
So may the Lord restrain
Me from all other plea
And may the cross of Christ my God
My only glory be.


“”For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”(Philippians 1 v 21) “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2 v 20) “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6 v 14)


Psalms of Davey #5 – O Lord of Hosts, I bow to Thee


This is the fifth 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 http://www.cyberhymnal.org

5. “O LORD OF HOSTS, I BOW TO THEE”

(Words Uncle Davey, Voronezh, Russia, 5-7 October 1985. Music Dmitry Stepanovich Bortniansky (1751-1825) Tune name “Russia”. The tune is well known in both Protestant and Catholic Churches, one of the more frequent songs of worship heard in Poland , though to a slightly different arrangement. The tune will also go well with “Ombersly” (see the previous hymn) by William Henry Gladstone. I also composed a tune for this called “Alexandra”, but as yet I have no midi for it.)

First published on the net on 4th April 2004
(NB. The picture to the right was taken in 1985, this is how I looked when I wrote this hymn.)

1.
O Lord of Hosts, I bow to Thee
With all my heart, on bended knee
But Lord, my soul is dank and dim,
Like foisty tinder, soiled by sin.

2.
Fain would I, Lord, to Thee make haste
Pour forth my prayer, nor moment waste.
Yet deep within my soul I glare
And see vague guilt still lurking there.

3.
O search me, Lord, and try my heart
O sift my soul in every part!
O may I all the substance see
Of how I have offended thee.

4.
O how unworthy I have been
My very nature how unclean;
How selfish, hard and proud and cold
How full of vanities untold.

5.
Yet all this wrong, O Lord of might,
Is not too much for Thee to right:
For Christ the Lamb who bore my pain
Could not have suffered death in vain.

6.
Whilst I consider, by Thy grace,
This spotless Lamb who took my place
And bore my curse, may I begin
To brim with thankful love within.

7.
Then may I pour forth raptured praise
And bless the Lord’s most holy ways,
For He, my strength and shield and song
Now my salvation is become.


“The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.”(Psalm 118 v 14)


The Psalms of Davey #4 – O Precious Saviour Draw Thee Near


This is the fourth 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 http://www.cyberhymnal.org

4. “O PRECIOUS SAVIOUR, DRAW THEE NEAR”

Words Uncle Davey, Voronezh, Russia, 2nd October 1985. Music William Henry Gladstone (1840-1892) Tune name “Ombersley”. The composer was the eldest son of British Prime Minister William E. Gladstone, and was himself a member of parliament for twenty years. The tune is named for his political constituency, but despite the political aspect, I have to say I consider it to be one of the finest gentle devotional tunes, borne out of the composer’s painstaking study of the history of sacred music.)

First published 4th April 2004

1.
O precious Saviour, draw thee near,
For Thy sweet mercy’s sake, me hear
I am a sinner, lost and lone,
Gracious Lord, take me for Thine own.

2.
O blessed Saviour, in Thy grace
Within mine heart take sovereign place.
O Lord, accept this lowly throne:
Gracious Lord, take me for Thine own.

3.
Lord Jesus, Thou dost reign on high
Yet dost to my poor soul draw nigh,
And Thou dost hear my sin-sick groan
And Thou dost take me for Thine own.

4.
Lord! Hold me back from tempting schemes
And from fulfilling sinful dreams.
How can I now such sin condone?
For I am Thine, and not mine own.

5.
Lord, of my will, and mind and heart,
O take control in every part!
Make me no more to satan prone:
I am not his, I am Thine own.

6.
Lord, since Thou dost within me dwell
Do Thou me keep from pow’rs of hell.
For Thou hast suffered to atone
All those whom Thou dost call Thine own.

7.
And at times end, when sinners all
Before God’s judgement seat shall fall,
Those who ne’er did repent shall moan
That they remained, till death, their own.


“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (I Corinthians 6 vv 19-20)


Psalms of Davey #3 – Thou Art The Lord Who Art Highly Exalted


This is the third 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 http://www.cyberhymnal.org

3. “THOU ART THE LORD WHO ART HIGHLY EXALTED”

Words Uncle Davey, Voronezh, Russia, 1985. Music Alexey Fyodorovich Lvov Tune name “Russian Hymn”, also known as “The Tsarist national anthem” – the pre-Revolutionary Russian National Anthem. This is one of the finest national anthems in the world and not currently used as an anthem by any country, but the first two lines of the verse will be familiar from Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture, where it is mixed with the crash of the cannon and snatches of ‘La Marsellaise’ to produce one of the most evocative pieces of classical music ever composed. At present, Russia, being a republic, chose after the dismantling of the Soviet Union by the power of God and the prayer of the Church, to retain for itself instead of a Tsarist hymn, the old Soviet anthem known as “Soyuz nerushimy” but with new, pluralist words. The Tsarist hymn is not even widely known among the youth of Russia today, the most the man in the street is likely to remember are the three opening words; “Bozhe, tsarya khrani!” (“God save the King”) To which I can only say that the Tsar of all the Russias now cannot be saved by God. For God himself, the LORD Jesus Christ, is Tsar of all the Russias and of all earthly and heavenly dominions, and Vladimir Putin, who is to my mind a very good President for the Russian Federation, is but an instrument in His hands. So the best use for this majestic piece of music is as a hymn to God. It is widely sung in English speaking Churches throughout the world to the hymn “God of the covenant, triune Jehovah”, and also for “God the omnipotent king who ordaineth” which are both much finer hymns than this is, but nevertheless, maybe this will catch someone at the right mood and be a source of comfort or inspiration.

1.
Thou art the Lord who art highly exalted,
Far over earth and Thy creatures below
Thou art the sov’reign of all creation,
Thou standest sure when to ashes we go.

2.
We are rebellious, thou art yet sov’reign
Thou hast our life breath in Thine holy hand
Sinners, we howl in our hard-hearted stupor
Still Thou art king, and Thy statutes all stand.

3.
We are idolatrous, Thou art the true God
Thou art o’erall and Thou rulest in pow’r.
Search, Lord, our hearts, and, saviour, within us
Shatter the brickwork of Babylon’s tow’r.

4.
Thou art almighty, Thou art all-holy
All heathen gods are but ashes and dust.
Thou art the Judge and Thou art the Saviour
Thy works declare Thou art perfect and just.


“Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18v25b)


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