Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

I remember reading once, somewhere, that in the early days of American religion, lyrics would be written, reflecting a denomination’s faith and doctrine, and since printing music was kind of a pain, a random but well-known tune would be assigned to the lyric. This is why, in our hymn book, this song makes me laugh, inasmuch as it is “Go Tell Aunt Rhodie.”

This past Sunday, I was playing the organ and had to play this song, which I had never played before. Not that it was difficult at all, but I was just unfamiliar with it.

A day later, I was watching ESPN, and during a commercial break, I heard that hymn! I looked up, and it was a commercial for Euro2008, the soccer tournament that starts this weekend. Some detective work revealed that the tune for hymn #46 is the Austrian National Anthem, which was written by Haydn.

Fascinating. To me, anyway.

4 thoughts on “Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

  1. Hate the first hymn (for the relationship you mentioned) and love the second because it’s so beautiful. I used to be in a ward at BYU in which the chorister and organist were in cahoots. They regularly and frequently switched hymns around which had the same tune/meter.

  2. Deb–every now and then I can put things together. 🙂Elizabeth–it really was a gorgeous hymn, and our ward is musical enough that by the end of the 2nd verse, I could hear all parts being sung and it was lovely. And I love switching up music and lyrics of hymns…although I’ve only ever done it with choirs, not with congregations.

  3. No wonder Lord Dismiss Us With YOur Blessing was always so easy to play…I learned it when I was 7, but never put it together before!

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