The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #116315   Message #2498686
Posted By: Joe Offer
20-Nov-08 - 03:09 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: I folk process 'We Gather Together'
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: I folk process 'We Gather Together'
For the sake of comparison, here are the lyrics from The Hymnal 1940, published by the Church Pension Fund, New York (Protestant Episcopal Church).

(lyrics Anonymous, 1625; translated by Theodore Baker, 1917)

We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!*

We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

*The Catholic Breaking Bread Hymnal (OCP Publications) has this as the second verse:
The Hymnal 1940 Companion provides the Dutch lyrics posted above, and says this hymn was written by an unknown author in celebration of Dutch freedom from Spanish sovereignty at the end of the 16th century. It was first published in the 1626 edition of Adrian Valerius' Neder-landisch Gedenckclanck. At the end of the 19th century, it was popularized through the edition by Edward Kremser of Sechs Altniederlädische Volkslieder, a German collection of six Netherlands songs, all taken from the Valerius collection. The German translation, by Carl Bieber, began: "Wir treten zum Beten vor Gott den Gerechten."
The English translation, by Theodore Baker, first appeared in Dutch Folk-songs, by Coenraad V. Bos (1917).
The tune was originally sung to a folk song, the text of which begins: "Ey wilder dan wilt." It derives the name Kremser from the eiditor named above (but apparently is much older than the 19th-century Kremser collection).

The Cyberhymnal entry says the hymn was written in 1597 to celebrate a Dutch victory, which sounds a whole lot more bellicose than the The Hymnal 1940 Companion contention that the hymn was written in celebration of Dutch freedom from Spanish sovereignty at the end of the 16th century - I guess that would mean the end of the Spanish Habsburg rule over Holland, right? The Cyberhymnal entry says the song was arranged & trans­lat­ed from Dutch to La­tin by Ed­uard Krem­ser in Sechs Al­tnie­der­länd­ische Volks­lied­er (Leip­zig, Ger­many: 1877). Trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by The­o­dore Bak­er, 1894.

Here are the German lyrics:

Wir treten zum Beten vor Gott den Gerechten.
Er waltet und haltet ein strenges Gericht.
Er läßt von den Schlechten die Guten nicht knechten;
Sein Name sei gelobt - er vergißt unser nicht.
Herr, laß uns nicht !

Erhöre, gewähre, O Herr, unser Flehen,
Du bist es, der Beistand und Hilfe uns schafft;
Denn Dein ist auf Erden und Dein ist in Höhen,
Die Herrlichkeit und Ehre, das Reich und die Kraft.
Herr, laß uns nicht !

Im Streite zur Seite ist Gott uns gestanden,
Er wollte, es sollte das Recht siegreich sein:
Da ward kaum begonnen, die Schlacht schon gewonnen.
Du, Gott, warst ja mit uns: Der Sieg, er war Dein!
Herr, laß uns nicht !

Wir loben Dich oben, Du Herscher der Welten,
Und singen und klingen dem König im Licht.
Du wirst uns erhören! Singt, singt in hellen Chören:
Der Herr ist unser Helfer, Er verlässet uns nicht !
Du Herr bist treu! 

Text: Adrianus Valerius als Dankgebet für die niederländischen Siege, 1597 - Übersetzung von Joseph Weyl , 1877
Musik: Altniederländische Volksweise

u.a. in -- Es braust ein Ruf -- Kriegsliederbuch für das Deutsche Heer (1914) -- Stolz ziehn wir in die Schlacht (1915) - Liederbuch des Thüringerwald-Vereins (1927) -- Schlesier-Liederbuch (1936) Source:
Also available at robokopp
And in four languages at

Here's the Latin from

1. Oramus, vocamus
Iustissimum Deum,
Qui munit et punit
Severe reos
Nec sinit peiores
Domare meliores;
Sit semper Deo laus,
Qui respicit nos!

3. Proeliatus ad latus
Adiuvit nos Deus;
Agebat, volebat,
Ut vinceret ius.
Vix sumus aggressi,
Sunt hostes oppressi;
Est, quod adiusti nos,
Triumphus Tuus.

4. Lauderis, canteris,
Qui proelia regis!
Oramus, optamus,
Ut adiuves nos,
Ne, fidos quos nosti,
Subiecti sint hosti!
Sit semper Tibi laus!
Fac nos liberos!

I don't usually like hymns that make references to the Lord fighting battles for the singers, but I don't really mind it in this hymn because the references aren't egregiously strong. I guess I have an aversion to changing or sanitizing traditional hymns. If I don't like 'em, I leaves 'em alone and don't use 'em for worship - but I don't change 'em.

Oh - these German postcards certainly make a military application of this hymn. I wonder if the hymn is still common in German churches. One other thing - is that a French tricolor flag in this postcard (click), or what???? The same flag appears in at least two postcards.