077.ThereIsAGreenHillFarAway

Please turn to number 77 and join with the clarinets in “There is a Green Hill Far Away”.

Number: 77 (First Tune)
First Line: There is a Green Hill
Name: MEDITATION (GOWER).
Meter: C.M.
Tempo: Simply
Music: John Henry Gower, 1855-1922
Text: Cecil Frances Alexander, 1823-95

Number: 77 (Second Tune)
First Line: There is a Green Hill
Name: HORSLEY.
Meter: C.M.
Tempo: Slowly, with movement
Music: William Horseley, 1774-1858
Text: Cecil Frances Alexander, 1823-95

Clarinet Arrangement, First Tune:077.ThereIsAGreenHill

Clarinet Arrangement, Second Tune:077b.ThereIsAGreenHill

These are some seriously Anglican hymns. They just sound “Anglican”, especially the second tune.

There have been a few translations by women, but I think this is the first Hymn written by a woman I’ve come across.

There is a Green Hill Far Away
Words: Ce­cil F. Al­ex­an­der, 1847. Al­ex­an­der wrote this hymn as she sat up one night with her ser­i­ous­ly sick daugh­ter. Ma­ny times, tra­vel­ing to town to shop, she had passed a small grassy mound, just out­side the old ci­ty wall of Der­ry, Ire­land. It al­ways made her think of Cal­va­ry, and it came to mind as she wrote this hymn. She pub­lished it in her Hymns for Lit­tle Child­ren in 1848.

Apparently, she was rather well known in her time, specifically for her hymns intended for children.

Alexander, Cecil Frances, née Humphreys, second daughter of the late Major John Humphreys, Miltown House, co. Tyrone, Ireland, b. 1823, and married in 1850 to the Rt. Rev. W. Alexander, D.D., Bishop of Derry and Raphoe. Mrs. Alexander’s hymns and poems number nearly 400. They are mostly for children, and were published in her Verses for Holy Seasons, with Preface by Dr. Hook, 1846; Poems on Subjects in the Old Testament, pt. i. 1854, pt. ii. 1857; Narrative Hymns for Village Schools, 1853; Hymns for Little Children, 1848; Hymns Descriptive and Devotional, 1858; The Legend of the Golden Prayers 1859; Moral Songs, N.B.; The Lord of the Forest and his Vassals, an Allegory, &c.; or contributed to the Lyra Anglicana, the S.P.C.K. Psalms and Hymns, Hymns Ancient & Modern, and other collections. Some of the narrative hymns are rather heavy, and not a few of the descriptive are dull, but a large number remain which have won their way to the hearts of the young, and found a home there. Such hymns as “In Nazareth in olden time,” “All things bright and beautiful,” “Once in Royal David’s city,” “There is a green hill far away,” “Jesus calls us o’er the tumult,” “The roseate hues of early dawn,” and others that might be named, are deservedly popular and are in most extensive use. Mrs. Alexander has also written hymns of a more elaborate character; but it is as a writer for children that she has excelled.

This Hymn was so short, only 8 bars, that I elected to play both versions as part of the same piece. Though, the first setting ends up in the key of F#, aka 6 sharps, or “All Your Sharps Are Belong To Us!”. The second setting is the more well known melody for this hymn. Twice through the first tune, each part doubled, then moving to the next setting.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal