Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy 300th birthday Mr. W.

On the Anglican-music mailing list (no relation) I saw a reminder that today is the 300th anniversary of the birth of Charles Wesley, the lyricists for more than 5,000 hymns. The best known of these are "Hark, the herald angels sing" and "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today." My personal favorites would be "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling" (set to Rowland Prichard’s Hyfrydol) and "O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing" (which my boyhood choir director liked to have us sing to Land of Rest).

To mark the occasion, the public radio show Pipedreams did a complete episode on the Wesley musicians: Charles Wesley, his son Samuel and his grandson Samuel Sebastian. I have not had a chance to listen the show (available online), but presumably it does not spend a lot of time on John Wesley, founder of the Methodist church.

This evening, Boston’s Old North Church (in the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, alas) is hosting a commemoration of Charles Wesley's 300th birthday. This is the actual church where he preached back in 1735.

I’m sorry that I can’t make it, but happy birthday, Charles.

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