During the last post I mentioned the variation of the alphabet game my family likes to play on road trips. That post listed hymn titles (or first lines) through to the letter, “M” and stopped there–for good reason. “N” through “Z” are a lot more difficult to find! So, we had to cheat a little! (Cheating in this sense is not the unchristian-like version, but more like the “fudging” a person does when the solitaire hand just isn’t working right.) So, pardon my fudging, here we go . . .
N–”Nome Bom” No, this is not a misprint; it’s Portuguese for the song, “Precious Name,” except in English the song doesn’t start with “N.” It’s a song that the little church in Cuiaba, Brazil used to sing EVERY SUNDAY WITHOUT FAIL. Some people had hymnals but everyone knew it by heart. Some who were illiterate knew every hymn by heart, but even this slow-of-learning English speaker could learn the words in Portuguese with that much repetition!
O–”Oh, Love That Will Not Let Me Go. I rest my weary soul in thee.” This lovely hymn isn’t heard much anymore, probably because the language is archaic and the music goes from impossibly low to impossibly high in a short amount of time. That equals squeaking from the soprano section! And the older I get, the more I squeak!
P–”Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.” OK, this one is neither a first line, nor a title (The title is, “Come Thou Fount.”) In fact, you won’t find the lines in most modern hymnals–and that’s my point. We have a modern propensity to change lyrics–and it’s not even the “Ebeneezer” line! (I would have understood that change since no one today knows what an Ebeneezer is.) My point is that if Robert Robinson, in 1758, prayed for the grace to remain faithful to God, who am I to edit it? (END OF RANT.)
Q–”Quiet, Lord, my froward heart. Make me teachable and mild.” OK, this is a hymn I’ve never heard, taken from a moldering old hymnal I bought at a used bookstore. I looked up the word, “froward.” It means, to look or face away from something. You learn something everyday!
R–”Redeemed how I love to proclaim it!” Amen!
S–”Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us. Much we need thy tender care.” Silah!
T–”Therefore the Redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion.” This was a camp song I learned back in the 70’s when young song writers used lots of scripture verses. But then, just the other day, my daughter was singing a scripture verse song, “Philippians 4:6 and 7. Don’t Be Anxious about Anything.” What’s more, she learned the song at camp!
U–”Under His Wing I Am Safely Abiding” –an oldie but goodie!
V–”Victory in Jesus!” (Bet you thought I’d have trouble with “V.”)
W--”Worm!” OK, the song is, “Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed” and the word, “Worm “ has been replaced with “one,” as in, “for such a one (instead of worm) as I.” Terrible! Some hymnals prefer, “for Sinners such as I.” Better, but it doesn’t have quite the punch that “worm” does. Have I ever mentioned how annoyed I get when people change the words? (END OF SECOND RANT.)
X–We skip this one. I’ve never heard of a hymn title beginning in “X,” even a hymn with the words changed.
Y--”Years I Spent in Vanity and Pride” Love this one!
Z–There are no hymns in English that begin with “Z.” So I finish with the last hymn in the old Mennonite hymnal I grew up with, “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht”! (Silent Night, Holy Night.) The German Christmas Carol completed the service on almost the last night of the year, and the old people of Parkside Mennonite Brethren Church were exhuberant. This was a song from their youth! We, young people, stumbled through the words hoping Franz Gruber would forgive us our English accent.