149. Sing Praise to the LORD

1 Sing praise to the LORD; come, sing a new song.
Amid all his saints his praises prolong.
Let Israel be glad in their Maker and sing;
let all Zion's people rejoice in their King.

2 With timbrel and harp and joyful acclaim,
with dancing and song give praise to his name.
For God in his people his pleasure will seek,
with robes of salvation adorning the meek.

3 In glory exult, you saints of the LORD;
with songs in the night high praises accord.
Go forth in his service, be strong in his might
to conquer all evil and stand for the right.

4 For this is God's word: his saints shall not fail,
but over the earth their power shall prevail.
All kingdoms and nations shall yield to their sword
thus God shows his glory. Sing praise to the LORD!

Text Information
First Line: Sing praise to the LORD, come sing a new song
Title: Sing Praise to the LORD
Meter: 10 10 11 11
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Election; Return of Christ; Alleluias
Source: Psalter, 1912, alt.
Tune Information
Composer: William Croft (1708)
Composer (desc.): Alan Gray, 1855-1935
Meter: 10 10 11 11
Key: G Major

Text Information:

Praise for the victories God grants his people.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-2
st. 2 = vv. 3-4
st. 3 = vv. 5-9
st. 4 = vv. 6-9

Another post-exilic hymn, Psalm 149 summons God's people to praise their Maker and King (st. 1) with dancing and music for delivering them (st. 2) from all who oppose and oppress them (st. 3). God arms them to execute his sentence of judgment on all world powers that have set themselves against the LORD's kingdom (st. 3-4). As a hymn on Israel's lips amid the travails of their history, this psalm was a confession of faith concerning things promised by the prophets and even foreshadowed in the people's past experience, but not yet seen. The (altered) versification is from the 1912 Psalter.

Liturgical Use:
Especially suitable as a psalm of praise at the close of worship; many other uses in Christian worship.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

William Croft (b. Nether Ettington, Warwickshire, England, 1678; d. Bath, Somerset, England, 1727) was a boy chorister in the Chapel Royal in London and then an organist at St. Anne's, Soho. Later he became organist, composer, and master of the children of the Chapel Royal, and eventually organist at Westminster Abbey. His duties at the Chapel Royal were expanded in 1715 to include teaching boys reading, writing, and arithmetic, as well as composition and organ playing. Croft published a two-volume collection of his church music, Musica sacra (1724), in one score rather than in separate part books, and in his preface encouraged others to do likewise. He contributed psalm tunes to The Divine Companion (1707) and to the Supplement to the New Version of Psalms by Dr. Brady and Mr. Tate (1708), which included HANOVER. These tunes mark a new development in English psalm tunes. HANOVER was printed anonymously, but William Croft is generally credited with its composition. The name derives from the House of Hanover, the family of King George III.

The descant is by Alan Gray (b. York, England, 1855; d. Cambridge, England, 1935). Gray studied law and music at Trinity College, Cambridge. A composer of church music and works for organ and chamber groups, he was music director at Wellington College (1883-1892) and Trinity College (1892-1930). He also conducted the Cambridge University Music Society. His A Book of Descants (1923) became very popular.

HANOVER is a well-crafted tune, distinguished in part by its triple meter, which was still rare in hymn tunes in the early eighteenth century. Like the music of its immediate neighbors, Psalms 148 and 150, which also begin and end with hallelujahs, HANOVER calls for the full resources of voices and organ and other instruments. It should be sung in harmony throughout–or try harmony on the first three stanzas and unison voices and the descant on the final stanza to provide a strong conclusion to this powerful psalm.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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