Hymn Story: My Song is Love Unknown

Samuel Crossman, a Puritan minister, wrote the hymn “My Song is Love Unknown” in 1664.

At the time he wrote the hymn, he’d been exiled from the Church of England for his opposition to the Act of Uniformity (public prayers and sacraments rites) 1662.

Crossman rejoined the Church of England the following year after writing this hymn. He continued to serve the church until his death on Feb. 4, 1683.

The song was first published as an Anglican hymn in 1684. The hymn is predominantly used on Good Friday.

John Ireland (1879-1962) composed the tune “Love Unknown” over lunch one day, reportedly written on the back of a menu.  The tune helped bring the hymn out of the obscurity it had fallen into during Victorian times.

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