Hymns not in English

13 January 2017

The Dictionary includes entries for a number of hymns in languages other than English. Here we highlight just a few:

Phos hilaron (‘joyful light’)
‘Phos hilaron’ is an ancient hymn originating in the early church and sung daily at Vespers (hesperinos) in the Byzantine liturgy of the hours. It is still sung today. St. Basil the Great (d. 379) described it as ancient, in fact so old that he did not know who wrote it...

Yu Yesu hul lin pi ('The Saviour’s precious blood')  Tai Jun Park (1900-1986)
This hymn was written in May 1949. It was written for a Korean student, who was attending an international youth rally in India and who wanted a Korean hymn to take with him...

Tama ngakau marie  (‘Son of a peaceful heart’)  Traditional Maori hymn
Neither the author nor the composer of this Maori hymn and melody have been traced, though the text is actually a free paraphrase of ‘Jesus, meek and gentle’ by George Rundle Prynne (1818-1903). Among Maori it is often sung at a funeral or commemorative service, but it was also adopted as a troop song by the Maori Battalion serving with the New Zealand forces in the Second World War...

Nada te turbe   St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)
According to P. Silverio, the editor of the works of Saint Teresa (Obras de Sta. Teresa de Jesus, Burgos, 1915-24, VI. 190), these lines were found in the breviary that she used in prayer during the Divine Office when she was dying at Alba de Tormes...


See more:

Hymns in German

Hymns in Latin

Hymns in other languages