It Is Good to Sing Your Praises

Full Text

1 It is good to sing your praises
and to thank you, O Most High,
showing forth your loving kindness
when the morning lights the sky.
It is good when night is falling
of your faithfulness to tell,
while with sweet, melodious praises
songs of adoration swell.

2 You have filled my heart with gladness
through the works your hands have wrought;
you have made my life victorious;
great your works and deep your thought.
You, O Lord, on high exalted,
reign forevermore in might;
all your enemies shall perish,
sin be banished from your sight.

3 But the good shall live before you,
planted in your dwelling place,
fruitful trees and ever verdant,
nourished by your boundless grace.
In his goodness to the righteous
God his righteousness displays;
God, my rock, my strength and refuge,
just and true are all your ways.

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Scripture References

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It Is Good to Sing Your Praises

Additional Prayers

Holy and loving God, you spoke creation out of chaos
and brought your people out of darkness into the marvelous light of your love.
May the music of your creation and the praises sung by your people bring joy to you
and comfort to a tormented world.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Psalms for All Seasons (http://www.psalmsforallseasons.org)

It Is Good to Sing Your Praises

Hymn Story/Background

This versification is a poetic summary of Psalm 92 that derives from the 1912 Psalter with minor alterations.
A joyful celebration of God's righteous rule, Psalm 92 appears to rise out of an experience of God's deliverance from enemies who took no account of God's readiness and power to protect his own. That experience moved the psalmist to note the appropri­ateness of praising God's love and faithfulness and all that the LORD has done. The psalmist also uses the occasion to expound on the folly of the wicked, who defy God by their actions, and on the flourishing of the righteous, who trust in God. In the post­exilic liturgy of the temple, Psalm 92 was sung at the time of the morning sacrifice on the Sabbath.
ELLESDIE, an anonymous tune (with bass line) dates from a collection of evangelistic hymns compiled by Joshua Leavitt.
ELLESDIE was published in the second volume of Christian Lyre (1833); there the tune was named DISCIPLE. The meaning of the tune name ELLESDIE is unclear–Robert McCutchan suggests that it stands for L.S.D., perhaps the initials of an unidentified person associated with this tune. ELLESDIE consists of four long lines in a modified rounded bar form (AA’BA’). Sing this tune in harmony with much enthusiasm.
Hubert P. Main provided the harmony, first published in Winnowed Hymns (1873; that collection attributed the tune to Mozart, though no evidence supports that claim). 
— Bert Polman

Author Information

The 1912 Psalter was the first ecumenical psalter published in the United States and the most widely used metrical psalter of the twentieth century in North America.  The United Presbyterian Church invited all other Reformed and Presbyterian denominations to join them in the effort to provide a new versifications of the psalms; six Presbyterian denominations, as well as the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America joined in the effort in revising the 1887 Psalter (whose texts actually dated back to the 1871 Book of Psalms; the 1887 edition had added music to the texts.).  The 1912 Psalter included all the psalms in 413 settings, eight doxologies, and the three Lukan canticles (Song of Mary, Song of Zechariah, and Song of Simeon).
— Bert Polman and Jack Reiffer

Composer Information

After receiving a degree in law from Yale University, Joshua Leavitt (b. Heath, MA, 1794; d. New York, NY, 1873) worked as a teacher and lawyer. Be returned to Yale to study for the ministry and in 1825 was ordained in the Congregational Church in Stratford, Connecticut. In 1830 he began publishing The Evangelist, a weekly newspaper that printed many articles on antislavery, temperance, and religious revivals. That same year he edited and co-published The Christian Lyre, a popular shape-note tunebook.
— Bert Polman
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