Please turn your hymnals to number 124 (First Tune) and join with the clarinets in, “Creator Spirit”.
Number: 124 (First Tune)
First Line: Creator Spirit
Meter: 8 8, 8 8, 8 8.
Music: Thomas Attwood, 1765-1836
Text: John Dryden, 1631-1700
Based on Veni, Creator Spiritus
Clarinet Arrangement: 124a-CreatorSpirit
Frankly, this is one of those hymns where none of the individual parts seem to make melodic sense until they are heard as a whole. Everyone is jumping all over the place and the phrasing just seems odd. However, when you hear it all together it is kind of cool. At least, for a hymn.
The son of a musician in the royal band, Attwood was born in London, probably in Pimlico. At the age of nine he became a chorister in the Chapel Royal, where he received training in music from James Nares and Edmund Ayrton. In 1783 he was sent to study abroad at the expense of the Prince of Wales (afterwards George IV), who had been favourably impressed by his skill at the harpsichord. After two years in Naples, Attwood proceeded to Vienna, where he became a favourite pupil of Mozart. On his return to London in 1787 he held for a short time an appointment as one of the chamber musicians to the Prince of Wales.
In 1796 he was chosen as the organist of St Paul’s Cathedral, and in the same year he was made composer of the Chapel Royal. His court connection was further confirmed by his appointment as musical instructor to the Duchess of York, and afterwards to the Princess of Wales. For the coronation of George IV. he composed the anthem I was Glad. The king, who had neglected him for some years on account of his connection with the Princess of Wales, now restored him to favour, and in 1821 appointed him organist to his private chapel at Brighton. 
Soon after the institution of the Royal Academy of Music in 1823, Attwood was chosen to be one of the professors. He was also one of the original members of the Royal Philharmonic Society, founded in 1813. He wrote the anthem O Lord, Grant the King a Long Life, which was performed at the coronation of William IV, and he was composing a similar work for the coronation of Queen Victoria when he died at his house at 75 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, on 24 March 1838.
Attwood’s funeral took place at St Paul’s Cathedral on 31 March 1838. He is buried in the Cathedral, in the crypt, under the organ.
Anyone who has studied English poetry will recognize the name “John Dryden”
Dryden, John. The name of this great English poet has recently assumed a new importance to the students of hymns, from a claim made on his behalf in regard to a considerable body of translations from the Latin published after his death (1701), in a Primer of 1706. The discussion of this point will preclude us from giving more than an outline of his life.
i. Biography.—John Dryden was the son of Erasmus, the third son of Sir Erasmus Dryden, and was born at Aid winkle, All Saints, Northants, Aug. 9, 1631. He was educated under Dr. Busby at Westminster, and entered Trip. College, Cambridge, in 1650. He took his B.A. in 1654, and resided nearly 7 years, though without a fellowship. He was of Puritan blood on both his father’s and mother’s side, and his training found expression in his first great poem, Heroic Stanzas on the death of Oliver Cromwell, 1658. In 1660, however, he turned, like the bulk of England, Royalist, and in his Astraea Redux, and in A Panegyric on the Coronation (1661), celebrated the Restoration. In 1663 he married Lady Elizabeth Howard. The marriage was apparently not a happy one; and there seems to be plain proof of Dryden’s unfaithfulness. In 1670 he was made Poet Laureate and Historiographer Royal, and he retained these posts until the accession of William (1688). He had joined the Roman Church in 1685, and remained steadfast to it at the fall of James II. This change is of special significance, as will appear below, in regard to his translations from the Latin. It greatly straitened his means, and compelled him to great literary exertion in his closing years. He died May 18, 1701, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.