Saturday, 2 July 2011

Tell Out My Soul

I have long had an ambivalent relationship with this hymn by Timothy Dudley-Smith (one-time Anglican bishop of Thetford).

The lyrics, as far as they go, are fine, and the tune is eminently singable.

However, given it is a paraphrase of the Magnificat, it strikingly (and, I have heard, deliberately) omits Our Lady!

So I have decided to rectify this with a new verse.

I imagine T D-S's lyrics are copyright, though they are easily available on the internet...

Here is my proposed second verse:

Tell out my soul, His favour shown to me:

He has looked down upon my lowliness.

From this day forth all men will honour me

For He hath deigned to share His holiness.

It's not perfect, and anyone who can do better is welcome to try.

Given how hymnbooks change lyrics willy-nilly for various spurious reasons, I think it would be excellent for Catholic hymnbooks (at least) to include a Marian verse - that is of course, a better reflection of the Scriptural origins of the hymn. Anyone who knows a Catholic hymnbook editor, feel free to pass it on. All royalties waived...

1 comment:

Patricius said...

Congratulations! The deliberate exclusion of Our Lady in Dudley-Smith's hymn has often struck me as rude to the point of embarrassment. It is by no means exceptional, however. At the first performance in Worcester Cathedral of Elgar's setting of Newman's "Dream of Gerontius" i 1902 all references to Our Lady were excised from the text- a fact highlighted in a recent BBC programme about Elgar. I think she spooks the heretics!