Here is a folksy little tune that captures the spirit of the Saints in 1839 as they settled in Commerce, Illinois – soon to be known as Nauvoo. The first three verses are from an anonymous poem found in the Times & Seasons; the fourth verse was added by me.
This is probably the earliest version of this well-beloved LDS hymn written by Eliza R. Snow. The file includes some interesting context to when the hymn was written, including that it used to be sung to the tune of the German national anthem, (Das Deutschlandlied) among other tunes. This is a tune that is no longer used, but provides another great pairing with these plaintive words.
This hymn text by Eliza R. Snow touches on a rather unusual doctrine, which she must have learned at the feet of the Prophet: the concept that from time to time, pieces of the Earth have been flung off into space, only to be regathered in the Millenium.
Astronomers are in general agreement that the Moon was formed about 4.5 billion years ago from a catastrophic collision between the Earth and some Mars-sized planet. Perhaps some day we will understand the full import of what Sister Eliza was alluding to in this strange hymn.