616. Isaiah the Prophet Has Written of Old

Text Information
First Line: Isaiah the prophet has written of old
Title: Isaiah the Prophet Has Written of Old
Author: Joy F. Patterson (1982)
Meter: irregular
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Scripture: ; ;
Topic: Biblical Names & Places: Isaiah; The New Creation; Advent (4 more...)
Copyright: © 1982, The Hymn Society of America. Used by permission
Tune Information
Harmonizer: AnnaMae Meyer Bush (1984)
Meter: irregular
Key: f minor
Copyright: Harmonization © 1987, CRC Publications

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Isa. 11:6-9
st. 2 = Isa. 55:12-13

Written by Joy F. Patterson (b. Lansing, MI, 1931) in 1981, this text was one of seven winners in a hymn-writing contest for children's hymns sponsored jointly by the Choristers Guild and the Hymn Society of America. It was published in the Hymn Society leaflet "New Hymns for Children" (1982) and was first sung at the Society's convocation in Atlanta that same year. Patterson says of the text, "I have always loved the tune SAMANTHRA, and the images and words from Isaiah 11 seemed made for the tune. Thus scriptural language, a prayer for peace, and a good but little-used tune came together for me in this hymn." Based on biblical imagery found in Isaiah, the text skillfully contrasts the evil and Injustice in this world (st. 2a) with the vision of peace, harmony, and joy in the kingdom of God (st. 1). It concludes with a "Maranatha" prayer ("Lord, come quickly!") for Peace, wisdom, justice, and joy (st. 2b).

Patterson grew up in LaGrange, Illinois, studied French language and literature at the University of Wisconsin, and spent a year at the University of Strasbourg, France, on a Fulbright scholarship. She taught French at the University of Wisconsin and worked as a homemaker and as a claims representative for the Social Security Administration. An elder in the Presbyterian Church, she was a member of the committee that prepared The Presbyterian Hymnal (1990). A writer of some thirty hymn texts and composer of hymn tunes, Patterson has also written choral music, including "On a Winter Night" (1974). A collection of her hymns, Come, You People of the Promise was published in 1994.

Liturgical Use:
Advent; other worship that emphasizes the qualities of the kingdom of God, both here and to come.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

SAMANTHRA is a beautiful melody from the southeastern Appalachian region of the United States. The tune appeared in Ananias Davisson's 1820 Supplement to Kentucky Harmony (see PHH 83), where it was set to the folk hymn "His Voice As the Sound of a Dulcimer Sweet" (thus the title, which means "listener" in Hebrew). The harmonization was composed by AnnaMae Meyer Bush (PHH 268). Sing this rounded bar form tune (AABA) in unison throughout. Keep the accompaniment light.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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