A brighter dawn is breaking

A brighter dawn is breaking. Percy Dearmer* (1867-1936).

Written for EH (1906) to fit the German tune SELNECKER (NUN LASST UNS GOTT DEM HERREN). Dearmer said that it was written for Eastertide ‘because there was a dearth of cheerful Easter tunes’ (Songs of Praise Discussed, 1933, p. 231):

A brighter dawn is breaking,
And earth with praise is waking;
For thou, O King most highest,
The power of death defiest;
And thou hast come victorious,
With risen Body glorious,
Who now for ever livest,
And life abundant givest.
O free the world from blindness,
And fill the world with kindness,
Give sinners resurrection,
Bring striving to perfection;
In sickness bring us healing,
In doubt thy clear revealing,
That praise to thee be given
In earth as in thy heaven.

It is characteristic of Dearmer in the way in which it relates the Resurrection to the state of the world and to social questions. In SofPE it was moved to the ‘General Hymns’ section, but it has remained as an Easter hymn in NEH. In Ireland it was used in ICH3 (1915, 1919). It entered the A&M tradition, also for Easter, in A&MCP (2000), and it is found in A&MRW.


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