Songs for the Mother of God, Part 1

The next batch of work for the Hymnal Project will feature spiritual songs in honor of Mary, Theotokos and Ever-Virgin.  Many of these songs are well-known, and some of them have particularly thorny issues involving the text, the music, or both.

In this installment, we will look at the hymns on the project page whose titles (first lines) begin with the letters A-M.

Click on each link for the discussion page, and leave any comments below!

7 thoughts on “Songs for the Mother of God, Part 1”

  1. Please include the English for the Lourdes Hymn. There are still parishes which are not slovak and do not sing in the language or use mainly English. Thank you

    1. True – but we don’t HAVE a good English translation for Likuj, Presvjataja. If we did, I would publish it in a heartbeat; while “Immaculate Mary” in our church has a lot of baggage and potential misunderstandings.

  2. For “All the Faithful Come Before You” if you’re willing to make a slight change to the lyrics for line 5 try “Never” as two eighth notes on the ‘A’, move “abandon” forward to fill the ‘B C# D’, add “all” on the ‘C#’, “your children” stay the same except the ‘E’ becomes a quarter note, and split the measure into two.

    The title is “All the Faithful”, so I would think “all your children” would fit in. Alternatively, you can do the eighth notes but instead of adding “all” you can slur “your” or “-dren” on two of the notes.

    Speaking to the peculiar ending, we sing and repeat to where the musical notation says to repeat (the end of the 5th line). The verses (line 2) end with ‘B B A G A’ as does the 5th line. I don’t understand how the 4th line is supposed to end it musically. I don’t have a lot of experience with this hymn at other parishes but I’ve never heard any comments that we sing it wrong.

    1. Thanks, Greg! The issue with “Never abandon all your children” is that, in English, this can easily be heard as “don’t abandon ALL your children; save at least some.” The better English would be “Never abandon any of your children”, but this doesn’t solve the problem either.

      I am inclined to leave it as is, and defer to the Music Commission on whether to change the accents, or the notation.

  3. Taking a look at “From Our Hearts We Sinners”, I haven’t sung this melody before. Singing it as written seems to fit the 5/4 time perfectly with no extra spacing. Perhaps others are used to singing it differently. It would be good to hear different interpretations of the music. I noticed in the Slavonic refrain the first note of the second measure is a dotted quarter note but in English it is just a quarter note. I would keep it a dotted quarter to have it be like every other measure. The whole measure could be written as DQ-E-Q-E-E-Q which is pretty close to the Slavonic.

    Regarding the text, if you don’t like “request”, then perhaps “Pure one, grant our plea”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *