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Origins: Wondrous Love

DigiTrad:
AIKENDRUM
CAPTAIN KIDD
CAPTAIN ROBERT KIDD
VAN GOGH
WONDROUS LOVE


Related threads:
DTStudy: Captain Kidd (11)
(origins) Origins: Captain Kidd shape note melody (16)
chords-Wondrous Love (8)
Captain Kidd Traditional recordings (4)


Maelgwyn 22 Aug 99 - 05:48 PM
Frank Hamilton 22 Aug 99 - 06:03 PM
catspaw49 22 Aug 99 - 07:13 PM
Sandy Paton 22 Aug 99 - 07:29 PM
T in Oklahoma 22 Aug 99 - 09:09 PM
Mary 22 Aug 99 - 09:16 PM
T in Oklahoma 22 Aug 99 - 09:36 PM
harpgirl 11 Apr 04 - 07:35 PM
pavane 12 Apr 04 - 05:04 AM
masato sakurai 12 Apr 04 - 07:09 AM
masato sakurai 12 Apr 04 - 07:51 AM
GUEST 12 Apr 04 - 09:03 AM
Burke 12 Apr 04 - 10:06 AM
Herga Kitty 12 Apr 04 - 10:16 AM
harpgirl 12 Apr 04 - 10:29 AM
pavane 12 Apr 04 - 12:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Apr 04 - 01:00 PM
masato sakurai 12 Apr 04 - 01:49 PM
masato sakurai 12 Apr 04 - 02:04 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Apr 04 - 02:15 PM
Burke 12 Apr 04 - 07:42 PM
masato sakurai 18 Apr 04 - 06:24 AM
v 19 Apr 04 - 05:49 AM
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Subject: wondrous love
From: Maelgwyn
Date: 22 Aug 99 - 05:48 PM

I brought a Jean Ritchie CD into work the other day on which she recorded this hymn. My boss recognized it and wanted to know more about it. Does anyone know when it was written or any other information about it?


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 22 Aug 99 - 06:03 PM

Maelgyn,

I think I can at least start the ball rolling. Others can give more definitive information. The hymn is associated with the Sacred Harp singing that is prevalent in the South today in places like North Georgia (Rabun Gap). Sacred Harp probably has its roots in early New England. This song is found in Sacred Harp songbooks such as the Missouri Harmony.

The form for the song is much older. It is a variant of the folk ballads Robert Kidd (the pirate) and Sam Hall. Probably English in origin but variants might be found in Scotland and Ireland. Jean obviously knew it from the singing in her family. It is a haunting melody, a one-of-a-kind tune in my view.

Here's the lineup:

Oh my name was Robert Kidd as I sailed, as I sailed,
My name was Robert Kidd as I sailed.
My name was Robert Kidd, all God's laws I did forbid,
So wickedly I did, as I sailed, as I sailed,
So wickedly I did as I sailed.

Oh my name it is Sam Hall, it is Sam Hall
Oh my name it is Sam Hall, it is Sam Hall
Oh my name it is Sam Hall, you're a bunch of muckers all
And I hate you one and all God Damn your eyes.

What Wondrous Love is this, o my soul o my soul
What Wondrous Love is this, o my soul.
What Wondrous Love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To set aside his crown for my soul, for my soul.
To set aside his crown for my soul.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Aug 99 - 07:13 PM

Thank you Frank......Here and on another thread you have given some great background in a wonderful way about one of my favorite people. Generally, I've often been the Jean Ritchie plugger around here and it's a pleasure to have your knowledgeable input around.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 22 Aug 99 - 07:29 PM

Horton Barker, blind ballad singer from Chilhowie, Virginia, sang a slightly modified text which I like. Instead of "What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of Bliss to bear the dreadful curse for my soul..." he sang "to bring such perfect peace to my soul." I've kept that one. More my kind of theology, I guess.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: T in Oklahoma
Date: 22 Aug 99 - 09:09 PM

Here's a blue clicky thingy that will connect you to "Wondrous Love" at the Southern Harmony on line.


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: Mary
Date: 22 Aug 99 - 09:16 PM

Check out The Cyber Hymnal at http://www.tch.simplenet.com It's listed as "What Wondrous Love is This?" There's a MIDI file and a little info.

Good luck, Mary


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: T in Oklahoma
Date: 22 Aug 99 - 09:36 PM

Oops, I forgot to post a blue clicky thingy for the tune Captain Kidd. In the SH it had the words "Through all the world below."


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: harpgirl
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 07:35 PM

The melody line of this white Spiritual uses six tones (called a 'gapped' scale), lacking the third; the harmony parts however, supply the third as a minor third, and the pieceis always treated as if it were in the Dorian mode. (Sam Hinton, "Modal Music" SINGOUT, Vol16 No 2.)


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: pavane
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 05:04 AM

Try and find the (acapella) recording by The Young Tradition (nothing to do with Captain Kidd or Sam Hall though). On the same album is a brilliant version of Banks of the Nile.

Don't have the name of the album to hand, but they only did 3, I think.


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: masato sakurai
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 07:09 AM

According to The Hymnal 1982 Companion, vol. IIIB (1994, no. 439):
Words: This anonymous text appeared in print at least as early as the second enlarged edition of A General Selection of the Newest and Most Admired Hymns and Spiritual Songs Now in Use. By the Rev. Stith Mead, preacher of the Gospel, M.E.C. [Methodist Episcopal Church] . . . Published by permission of the Virginia Conference . . . . (Lynchburg, VA, 1811).
Music: A three-part version of the hexatonic tune WONDROUS LOVE first appeared in print among the additional tunes in the 1840 printing of The Southern Harmony (New Haven, CT), compiled by William Walker. The tune, linked with the text "What wondrous love is this, O my soul," was attributed to "Christopher." In Walker's later book Christian Harmony (Philadelphia, 1867), James Christopher of Spartanburg, South Carolina is identified as the arranger of the tune.
Also in The Sacred Harp (1860, p. 159).

"Wondrous Love" can be heard at Voices Across America:

Voices of Union (shape-note singing)

Voices of Fort Worth (shape-note singing)

Voices of Waco (shape-note singing)

Voices of Reston (by Jane Sparks Tatum)


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: masato sakurai
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 07:51 AM

WHAT WONDROUS LOVE (Sung by Almeda Riddle; Recorded in Miller, AR 9/10/60) is at the Wolf Folklore Collection.


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 09:03 AM

My favorite version of this is the one done by Kathy and Carol.


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Subject: LYR Add: wondrous love
From: Burke
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 10:06 AM

Here are variants on the words that were posted to the old Fasola e-mail group in 1995. As you can see, words similar to those Sandy mentions have a slight precedence over "bear the dreadful curse for my soul" in the first verse. I think these may be the words used in the Cooper Ed. of the Sacred Harp.

The Online Sacred Harp & Southern Harmony both had just one verse, so I think the compilers thought the rest of the words were familiar enough to not need reprinting. The Sacred Harp 1991 ed. verses are the same as in DT. They are a combination of the 2 versions below with a slightly different "death I'm free" verse, so there must have been a fair amount of oral transmission creating the variants. I think the additional verses were probably as in Lloyd's Primitive hymnbook, but I'll need to double check.

The Episcopal Hymnal avoids those uncomfortable words about sin by combining verses 1 & 2 into: "Caused the Lord of bliss to Lay aside his crown for my soul." That's the verse Frank seems to have picked up as well above. Since the compiliers knew about the earlier alternate for verse 1, I wish they had used it instead.

Text of Wondrous Love in Stith Mead's Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1811(?), where 6 verses are given. They are as follows (omitting the usual repetitions):

What wond'rous love is this,
O, my soul!
That caus'd the Lord of Bliss
To send this precious peace,
To my soul!

When I was sinking down,
Sinking down,
Beneath God's rightous frown,
Christ laid aside his Crown,
For my soul!

Ye winged Seraphs fly,
Bear the news,
Like Comets thro' the sky,
Fill vast eternity
With the news!

Ye friends of Zion's King,
Join his praise.
With hearts and voices sing,
And strike each tuneful string,
In his praise!

To God and to the Lamb,
I will sing.
Who is the great I AM,
While millions join the theme,
I will sing!

An while from death I'm free,
I'll sing on.
I'll sing and joyful be,
And through Eternity,
I'll sing on.


Three years later (1814), Silas Mercer Noel included:

What wondrous love is this,
O my soul;
That caus'd the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse,
For my soul.

[sinking down, as above]
[seraphs fly, as above]

To God and to the Lamb,
I will sing,
And to the great *I am*, (** = italicized)
While millions join the theme,
I will sing.

Ye sons of Zion's King,
Join the praise,
With hearts and voices sings,
And strike the tuneful string,
In his praise.

And when from death we're free,
We'll sing on,
We'll sing and joyful be,
And in eternity,
We'll sing on.

And when to that bright world,
We arrive, we arrive,
And when to that bright world,
We arrive,
When to that world we go,
Free from all pain and woe,
We'll join the happy throng,
And sing one, and sing on,
We'll join the happy throng,
And sing on.


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 10:16 AM

Pavane

The YT recorded "Wondrous Love" on "Galleries" - along with "the Rolling of the Stones" and "The bitter withy" (and Robert Johnson's "Stones in my passway").

Kitty


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: harpgirl
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 10:29 AM

me, too GUEST


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: pavane
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 12:24 PM

I have an interesting tale about that album, from many ago.

A friend of mine whom I introduced to folk music (he was previously into heavy metal) was so knocked out by the YT that when he discovered it was unobtainable (before it was released on CD) he took his own deck up to the record company and got them to let him copy the tapes. (Thus getting it in stereo, although the vinyl was only released in Mono)

Stones in my Passway is complete with deliberately added '78 hiss', but the record company didn't seem to have got the message, and had marked it 'Unplayable'!

At a party (in Luxembourg), I tried playing blues harp to Peter's guitar, but unfortunately he strayed way too far from 12 bar...


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 01:00 PM

In the Cyberhymnal, the words to the hymn there there are attributed to Alexander Means. They have a picture, but there is no biography in their 'People' section.
Does anyone have any information about this man?


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: masato sakurai
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 01:49 PM

I don't know who Alexander Means was. The picture on the Cyber Hymnal page What Wondrous Love is William Walker's.


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: masato sakurai
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 02:04 PM

The Alexander Means attribution seems to come from Lomax's notes to WHITE SPIRITUALS from The SACRED HARP (pdf):
Wondrous Love (Track 5 & 6) Joyce Smith speaks; and then sings "Wondrous Love." This hymn is a member of the "Captain Kidd" family, so called because the ballad of "Captain Kidd" is set to one form of the tune. The "Captain Kidd" type has for several centuries been responsible for a very large number of beautiful songs, including "The Wars of Germany," "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye," "Sam Hall," and "Sugar Babe." This text is attributed to Rev. Alexander Means, a Methodist minister of Oxford, Georgia, and has been published again and again by Sacred Harp songbook compilers. Mrs. King Roberts conducts.


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 02:15 PM

Thanks, Masato, the article by Lomax is interesting. I have saved it for future reading.
There is no name under the picture in the Cyberhymnal, and I assumed- wrongly.


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: Burke
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 07:42 PM

I'm curious as to where Lomax got his attribution. He did not get it from the Sacred Harp. When it comes to scholarly accuracy I'll take the The Hymnal 1982 Companion that Masato quoted from first. The scholarship there is much more recent than that for the White Spirituals notes. "White Spirituals" notes reproduces notes from the earlier LP & has some really bad inaccuracies; for example, it uses the wrong Shape note illustration on p. 3.

It would be interesting to see what it says in the notes to Rounder's re-release of the White Spirituals material on: Southern Journey, V. 9: Harp of a Thousand Strings -- All Day Singing From the Sacred Harp, track 5.


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 Apr 04 - 06:24 AM

Lomax's note is the same in Southern Journey, vol. 9. The score page, however, is from the 1991 Sacred Harp, where the attribution goes to Mead's General Selection, 1811.

"Wondrous Love" is contained in a Japanese Baptist hymnal Shinsei Sanbika (new edition, 2003, no. 288) as "Kusushiki Ai Ware ni" (with midi).


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Subject: RE: wondrous love
From: v
Date: 19 Apr 04 - 05:49 AM

I think - whether japanese or clandestine americans - we should support a thread known as "wonderous love". because it is so much more positive than the other options.
   the japanese culture is really bringing us closer together, esp with the younger creative children.who are all into anime...
   suddenly i am all into   "whatever works". we all know japan has an old and buddhist like past. Can we trust them with our children?
   My daughter is mesmerized with japanese culture. can we trust these people to take care of such young children, and show them the way??
   anyone artistic from japan out there - let me know!
best,
v


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