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Many and great, O God, are thy works

Many and great, O God, are thy works. Joseph Renville* (1779-1846), translated by Philip Frazier*. Renville’s hymn is probably the best known Native American hymn to have entered general use in translation. The first stanza is as follows: This hymn in seven stanzas was published in the 1846 supplement ‘Dakota dowanpi kin’, to the first Dakotan hymnal, a words-only book, Dakota Odowan (‘Dakota Hymns’) (Boston, 1842), with ‘Mr. R’ following stanza seven. It appeared with the scriptural reference ‘Jeremiah 10: 12-13’ and the initials ‘J. R’ in Dakota Odowan (New York, 1879) set to LACQUIPARLE (Lake that speaks) a ‘Dakota Native Air’ harmonized by James R. Murray. The melody was named after...

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