Article " O Bless the Lord, My Soul" by John Knowles Paine

O Bless the Lord, My Soul, 1911, by John Knowles Paine, 1839-1906.
O Bless the Lord, My Soul, 1911. John Knowles Paine, 1839-1906. Music Division, Library of Congress. Call number: M2073.P

O Bless the Lord, my Soul was published in 1911 by Boston Music Co. The present edition was copyrighted 1911 by G. Schirmer, and revised and edited by Charles Leslie.

Although the composition date of the anthem remains unknown, it is widely assumed that it dates from the period 1856-67, when Paine wrote his unaccompanied partsongs for male chorus. Probably intended for the Harvard chapel choir, O Bless the Lord, My Soul is a setting of Isaac Watts's metered versification of Psalm 103.

Paine deviates from Watts's original poetry, written in 1719, several times. Watts's phrase, "And makes thee young again," appears in Paine's setting as, "And makes thee strong again." The original phrase "He that redeemed my soul from hell" appears as "And he from everlasting death." For his musical setting, Paine chose a version of Watts's text published in the 1853 Unitarian Hymns for the Church of Christ, edited by Frederick Henry Hedge and Frederic Dan Huntington. The editors were both Unitarian ministers and professors at Harvard Divinity School. Perhaps coincidentally, these altered phrases receive special musical attention from Paine. The tutti chorus and organ unison at "And makes thee strong again" (mm. 32-35) and the sudden pp to sfz dynamic at "And he from everlasting death" (mm. 50-53) are among the most dramatic moments in the piece.

About this Item

Title
" O Bless the Lord, My Soul" by John Knowles Paine
Subject Headings
-  Paine, John Knowles, 1839-1906
-  Progressive Era to New Era (1900-1929)
-  Songs and Music
-  Parlor and Concert Stage
-  Worship and Praise
-  Articles
Genre
article
Online Format
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online text
Description
Article. Paine deviates from Watts's original poetry, written in 1719, several times. Watts's phrase, "And makes thee young again," appears in Paine's setting as, "And makes thee strong again." The original phrase "He that redeemed my soul from hell" appears as "And he from everlasting death." For his musical setting, Paine chose a version of Watts's text published in the 1853 Unitarian Hymns for the Church of Christ, edited by Frederick Henry Hedge and Frederic Dan Huntington. The editors were both Unitarian ministers and professors at Harvard Divinity School. Perhaps coincidentally, these altered phrases receive special musical attention from Paine. The tutti chorus and organ unison at "And makes thee strong again" (mm. 32-35) and the sudden pp to sfz dynamic at "And he from everlasting death" (mm. 50-53) are among the most dramatic moments in the piece.
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Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permission ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. Users should consult the bibliographic information that accompanies each item for specific information. This catalog data provides the details known to the Library of Congress regarding the corresponding items and may assist users in making independent assessments of the legal status of these items as related to their desired uses.

Items included here with the permission of the rights holders are indicated as such in the bibliographic record for each item.

In some cases, the Library was unable to identify a possible rights holder and has elected to place some of those items online as an exercise of fair use for strictly non-commercial educational uses. The Library of Congress would like to learn more about these materials and would like to hear from individuals or institutions that have any additional information or know of their history. Please contact:  Performing Arts Reading Room.

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" O Bless the Lord, My Soul" by John Knowles Paine. Online Text. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200185399/. (Accessed July 26, 2017.)

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" O Bless the Lord, My Soul" by John Knowles Paine. [Online Text] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200185399/.

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" O Bless the Lord, My Soul" by John Knowles Paine. Online Text. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200185399/>.