Please turn your hymnals to number 129 and join with the Saxophones in, “Spirit of God”.
First Line: Spirit of God
Meter: 10 10, 10 10.
Tempo: With reverence
Music: Ascribed to Frederick Cook Atkinson, 1841-97
Text: George Croly, 1780-1860
Saxophone Arrangement: 129-SpiritOfGod
This is a very familiar sounding hymn! Maybe the most familiar sounding of any of the Pentecost hymns.
MORECAMBE was composed in 1870 by Frederick C. Atkinson (b. Norwich, England, 1841; d. East Dereham, England, 1896) as a setting for Henry Lyte’s “Abide with Me” (442). It was first published in G. S. Barrett and E.J. Hopkins’s Congregational Church Hymnal (1887). The tune is named for a coastal town on Morecambe Bay near Lancaster, England, a town not far from Bradford, where Atkinson served as organist.
As a boy Atkinson was a chorister and assistant organist at Norwich Cathedral. In 1867 he graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from Cambridge and then served as organist and choirmaster in St. Luke’s Church, Manningham, Bradford. He also held that position at Norwich Cathedral and at St. Mary’s Parish Church in Lewisham. Atkinson wrote hymn tunes, anthems, and complete Anglican services, as well as songs and piano pieces.
MORECAMBE has a good melodic contour and a strong rise to its climax but then concludes rather weakly. (See comments on the generic group of tunes that includes MORECAMBE at PHH 276.) Try singing this fervent prayer to MORESTEAD (295), a tune with a very different character that will shed new light on the text.
—Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988