The old Trinity Hymnal (whose days are numbered) has some unusual matchings of tune and word. Some are not good, but it has a lot of interesting ones. I speak with no expertise whatever, but what seems to me the case is that they dismiss a lot of American tunes. There are good American tunes, but there are also some very crude ones I could do without, not to mention that which falls below the category of hymn, the gospel song. I was glad, when in Ireland ten years ago, to see they dropped what we use for Amazing Grace. It is, whatever its merits, by now a cliché.

A tune that I’m glad to see gone by the way is the rollicking tune associated with My Hope is Built on Nothing Less. We use St. Petersburg, which appears to be a modification of Rockingham, neither of which can be accused of rollicking.


St. Petersburg, as the Trinity Hymnal conceives it. That is so good I have half a mind to memorize the words.

St. Petersburg – Thou Hidden Source of Calm Repose, which appears to bear little relation but is most pleasing (perhaps the mystery would be clear if I read music, but as I am reminded daily with my accordion, that is something that has not been given to me).

And Redhead for Rock of Ages is certainly an improvement.

Readhead for almost any hymn strikes me as a superior choice.


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