William Williams, called the "Watts of Wales," was born in 1717, at Cefn-y-coed, near Llandovery, Carmarthenshire. He originally studied medicine, but abandoned it for theology. He was ordained Deacon in the Church of England, but was refused Priest's Orders, and subsequently attached himself to the Calvinistic Methodists. For half a century he travelled in Wales, preaching the Gospel. He died in 1791. Williams composed his hymns chiefly in the Welsh language; they are still largely used by various religious bodies in the principality. Many of his hymns have appeared in English, and have been collected and published by Sedgwick. His two principal poetical works are "Hosannah to the Son of David," and "Gloria in Excelsis."
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Translator (into English): James W. Alexander
James W. Alexander (b. Hopewell, Louisa County, VA, 1804; d. Sweetsprings, VA, 1859) was often overshadowed by his father, the renowned Archibald Alexander, first professor at Princeton Theological Seminary. But James Alexander was also a fine preacher, teacher, and writer. He studied at New Jersey College (now Princeton University) and Princeton Seminary. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church, he alternated his career between teaching and pastoring; for two years (1849-1851) he was professor of ecclesiastical history and church government at Princeton Seminary. Alexander translated a number of hymns from Greek, Latin, and German but is mainly known today for his translation of "O Sacred Head."
Bert Polman… Go to person page >
The tune HERZLICH TUT MICH VERLANGEN has been associated with Gerhardt's text ["O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden"] since they were first published together in 1656. The tune's first association with a sacred text was its attachment in 1913 [sic: should read 1613] to Christoph Knoll's funeral text "Herzl…