|First Line:||For the fruits of His creation|
|Title:||For the Fruits of His Creation|
|Author:||Fred Pratt Green (1970)|
|Copyright:||© 1970 Hope Publishing Company|
st. 2 = Matt. 20:1-16
st. 3 = Gal. 5:22
Fred Pratt Green (b. Roby, Liverpool, Lancashire, England, 1903) wrote the text specifically for the tune EAST ACKLAM with its somewhat unusual meter. Pratt Green carefully matched the "Thanks be to God" phrases to fit the short but powerful cadential motifs in Francis Jackson's tune. The text was first published in the British Methodist Recorder in August 1970. "For the Fruits" has become a popular harvest thanksgiving hymn.
The text's theme is thanksgiving: in stanza 1 for the natural harvest and in stanza 3 for the spiritual harvest. That thanksgiving tone, however, functions as a frame around stanza 2, which reminds us that thanksgiving must also be shown in our deeds of sharing God's bounty with those in need. Although the text is a modern one, it expresses the same message as did the Old Testament prophets: offerings of thanksgiving are acceptable to God only if "the orphans and the widows" have received loving care (see Isa. 1:10-17; Amos 5:21-24; Micah 6:6-8). That message is so necessary at North American harvest feasts!
Already in the 1970s Erik Routley (PHH 31) considered Fred Pratt Green to be the most important British hymn writer since Charles Wesley, and most commentators regard Green as the leader of the British "hymn explosion." Green was educated at Didsbury Theological College, Manchester, England, and in 1928 began forty years of ministry in the Methodist Church, serving churches mainly in the Yorkshire and London areas. A playwright and poet, he published his works in numerous periodicals, His poetry was also published collectively in three volumes, including The Skating Parson (1963) and The Old Couple (1976). Though he had written a few hymns earlier, Green started writing prolifically after 1966, when he joined a committee to prepare the Methodist hymnal supplement Hymns and Songs (1969) and was asked to submit hymn texts for subjects that were not well represented. His hymn texts, numbering over three hundred, have appeared in most recent hymnals and supplements and have been collected in 26 Hymns (1971), The Hymns and Ballads of Fred Pratt Green (1982), and Later Hymns and Ballads (1989). In 1982 Green was honored as a Fellow of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada.
For harvest thanksgiving but also for Labor Day services and other occasions that focus on social justice.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook
Until the middle of the twentieth century, English churchgoers associated Reginald Heber's “God, who made heaven and earth” with the popular Welsh folk tune AR HYD Y NOS. In 1957, Francis Jackson wrote a new tune, EAST ACKLAM, for that hymn, seeking to supplant the Welsh one. However, the new tune never became popular. John Wilson, a British hymnologist, saw what he considered to be a fine hymn tune in EAST ACKLAM, and asked hymn writer Fred Pratt Green to write a new text to fit the tune. Green agreed, and “For the Fruit of All Creation” is the result.
The first and third stanzas are about thanksgiving for physical and spiritual harvests, respectively. Sandwiched in between is an exhortation to follow God's will in generously giving to those in need out of the abundant harvest for which we have just given thanks.
Though this hymn text was originally written specifically for EAST ACKLAM, and is still published with it in some hymnals, AR HYD Y NOS won the popularity contest again, and is the principal tune associated with “For the Fruit of All Creation.” Interestingly, both tunes share a similar structure in that each tune has a four note motif that occurs three times in the song – at the end of the first, second, and final phrases – and is matched with a repeated line in the text.
AR HYD Y NOS is a traditional Welsh tune that first appeared in print in Edward Jones's Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards in 1784 for solo voice and harp. It is a simple, meditative melody and easy to sing.
This hymn is popular for Thanksgiving and harvest celebrations, and it is also suitable for Labor Day or other occasions where the focus is on social justice.
A Thanksgiving choral arrangement of “For the Fruit of all Creation” set to the tune AR HYD Y NOS includes references to the hymn “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come.” “All Through the Night” is a handbell arrangement of the same tune, titled after the English translation of the Welsh folk song. A piano setting of AR HYD Y NOS suitable for a prelude or offertory is found in the collection “Morning Has Broken”.
Tiffany Shomsky, Hymnary.org