KH5 Come, let us join our cheerful songs

Isaac Watts again, this time not a metrical psalm but a spiritual song, in Common Metre:

Come, let us join our cheerful songs
With angels round the throne.
Ten thousand thousand are their tongues,
But all their joys are one.

“Worthy the Lamb that died,” they cry,
“To be exalted thus!”
“Worthy the Lamb,” our hearts reply,
“For He was slain for us!”

Jesus is worthy to receive
Honor and power divine;
And blessings more than we can give,
Be, Lord, forever Thine.

Let all that dwell above the sky,
And air and earth and seas,
Conspire to lift Thy glories high,
And speak Thine endless praise!

The whole creation join in one,
To bless the sacred Name
Of Him Who sits upon the throne,
And to adore the Lamb.

The Karen text is attributed to E. B. Cross, D.D., and has four stanzas (to Watts’s five; which one was omitted?). The 1963 hymnal sets it to GENEVA, by John Cole 1774-1855 [the Cyber Hymnal just calls him “19th century”]; corroboration? The English text is set to many different tunes; my index lists 11 occurrences with 7 different tunes among them (and GENEVA is not one of them). The most frequent is WARWICK (see KH3); others are AZMON, GRÄFENBURG [sic, = GRÄFENBERG = NUN DANKET ALL’], NATIVITY, NEWBOLD (which repeats the last line of each stanza), and NOTTINGHAM (probably meaning ST. MAGNUS), and an unidentified tune arranged by Alfred Smith. The Cyber Hymnal adds one called LOUGHTON, which however looks more like to me.


1. How important is this hymn to Karen worship?

2. How faithful is the text to Watts?

3. Is GENEVA the tune of choice or would a change be welcomed?




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