Behind the Song: You Raise Me Up

Happy Mother’s Day! I thought this was a fitting song for the day. You Raise Me Up almost vanished into obscurity, instead of becoming the hit song we know and love today. You Raise Me Up was composed by an Irish-Norwegian duo known as Secret Garden, performers of primarily instrumental music.   The music was composed by Rolf Lovland.  The song […]

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Behind the Song: Surely the Presence

Surely the Presence of the Lord is in this Place is a praise hymn from the 1970s which is still popular today. The song was written by Lanny Wolfe and inspired by Genesis 28:16, “When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” Lanny Wolfe is an […]

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Behind the Song: O Holy Night

In 1847, Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure was most likely shocked when the parish priest asked him to write a poem for Christmas Mass. De Roquemaure was the commissioner of wines in a small French town and well known for his poetry.  He was an unlikely person for the priest to ask to write this poem, in the fact that he was […]

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Behind the Hymn: We Gather Together

We Gather Together is a popular hymn sung at Thanksgiving.  The song was written in 1597 by Adrianus Valerius.  The original title of the Dutch hymn was “Wilt heden nu treden“. The song was written to celebrate the Dutch victory over the Spanish forces in the Battle of Turnhout.  The song acknowledges the triumph over the nation’s turbulent history. In […]

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Behind the Song: Ave Maria

Franz Schubert composed the popular Catholic hymn in 1825, as part of his Opus 52.  He titled the song “Ellens dritter Gesang” or Ellen’s Third Song. Philip Adam Storck translated and published the poem Lady of the Lake into German in 1819.  This was the inspiration for Schubert’s work. The song was composed as a setting for Sir Walter Scott’s […]

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Behind the Hymn: America the Beautiful

In honor of Veteran’s Day this week, I wanted to look at a beloved Patriotic hymn. Katharine Lee Bates and a group of colleagues ascended up Pike’s Peak by prairie wagon in the summer of 1893 while on a working vacation.  She was so inspired by the view that beheld her that she began to write the poem to America […]

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Behind the Hymn: Majesty

This is Mama’s favorite song.  In honor of her birthday this week, I thought I would cover the history of this song of praise. The song was written by Jack William Hayford, who is a pastor.  Rev. Hayford is said to have composed over 400 songs, hymns and musical works. The inspiration for this song came from a 1977 vacation […]

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Behind the Song: The Savior is Waiting

This hymn was written by Ralph Carmichael in the mid-1950s. Mr. Carmichael shares that his pastor, Lester Harnish, requested he write a new hymn to be used as an invitation each night for the upcoming revival.  This revival was scheduled to last for two weeks and would be sung at the end of the sermon. At the beginning of the […]

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Behind the Song: Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary

  This hymn was written in 1952 by Rev. John M. Moore.   Rev. Moore was born in Kirkintilloch, Dunbartonshire, Scotland on September 1, 1925.  He shares that he was raised by godly parents and accepted Christ when he was sixteen years old.  He studied the ministry in Glasgow, Scotland and served several churches in the area.  Before immigrating to […]

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Behind the Hymn: All Hail the Power of Jesus Name

Edward Perronet was born in 1726 England, the grandson of a French immigrant.  He followed in his father’s footsteps and entered the ministry. He became close friends with John and Charles Wesley, eventually leaving the Church of England and becoming a traveling Methodist minister. One story about Perronet says that Wesley encouraged him {Perronet} to preach, but he was resistant.  […]

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Behind the Hymn: Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross

This popular hymn was written by Fanny Crosby, author of over 8,000 hymns and songs. She often collaborated with composer William Doane.  Doane wrote the music and then the melody was played for Crosby.  Upon hearing the melody she said she felt it said, “Jesus, Keep me near the cross.”  She said down and wrote the words for this hymn. […]

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Behind the Hymn: Victory in Jesus

Eugene Monroe Bartlett, Sr. is considered to have made a major impact on the development of Southern Gospel Music. He was born on December 24, 1885 in Waynesville, Missouri.  At a young age he relocated to Sabastian County, Arkansas where he grew up.  He was educated as a music teacher at Hall-Moody Institute in Tennessee and William Jewell College in […]

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