I was surprised this year to learn that the beloved hymn “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief” was altered from its original form sung at the time of Joseph Smith before appearing in the current LDS Hymnbook. I lived in Illinois and have visited Carthage Jail, in the very room where John Taylor sung this hymn at Joseph’s request just before the mob attacked the jail, killing Joseph and Hyrum.
What follows is a follow-up on a previous post about what is likely the closest version of what John Taylor actually sang that day. I have arranged it as a solo and a men’s trio.
This lovely hymn appeared in the 1909 Deseret Sunday School Songs, and in the 1927, 1948, and 1950 LDS hymnals, but not the 1985 edition – which is a pity, because it is one of the very few genuinely Latter-day Saint Christmas hymn tunes, written by Ebenezer Beesley.
This forgotten hymn by Parley P. Pratt appeared in the 1889 Latter-day Saints’ Psalmody. It is reminiscent of Brother Pratt’s better-known hymn, “Jesus, Once of Humble Birth”, with its before/after contrasting lines.
Today marks 208 years since Joseph Smith Junior was born, and so today I have a unique arrangement of “Praise to the Man” that brings together, the original, rather gloomy setting, the upbeat “Scotland the Brave” setting now in the hymnbook, and another hymn most know as “Lord, Dismiss Us With Thy Blessing”. I wanted to portray a wide variety of emotions, such as the early Saints must have felt when hearing about the death of the prophet: grief at his passing, gratitude for his mission, and joy in his memory.
“Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” has always been one of my favorite carols, and I have enjoyed it both in English and in its original German. Germans like it so much that it’s actually in the LDS German hymnbook.
This version combines the original melody used by Michael Pratoreus, with the melody of a Norwegian Christmas song that fits the words well.