Hymn Story: O Taste and See how gracious the Lord is

“O taste and see how gracious is the Lord” was composed for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953.  Ralph Vaughan Williams married his melody with the scripture found in Psalm 34.

The hymn was inspired by Psalms 34:8 “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”  (KJV)

Williams was born in Gloucestershire, England in 1872. He studied at the Royal College of Music and Trinity College at Cambridge and received his doctorate and went by Dr. Vaughan Williams. He was strongly influenced by Tudor Music and English folk-songs. “His works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions including nine symphonies, written over sixty years.” He composed for several royal occasions but refused a knighthood or the post of the King’s Music. In 1935, he was awarded the Order of Merit. He died at his home in London in 1958.

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