The Cyber Hymnal™

Hymn Trivia


FIRST HYMN IN ENGLISH WRITTEN FOR PUBLIC WORSHIP

Behold the Glo­ries of the Lamb (Isaac Watts, circa 1688).


OLDEST HYMN WHOSE AUTHOR IS KNOWN

Shepherd of Ten­der Youth (Cle­ment of Al­ex­an­dria, cir­ca 200).


MOST POPULAR HYMN

Based on Cy­ber Hym­nal™ traf­fic, Amaz­ing Grace is the run­a­way win­ner. Blessèd Assurance is the runner up.


HYMNS SUNG IN MOVIES THAT WON OR WERE NO­MIN­AT­ED FOR ACAD­EMY AWARDS


HYMNS SUNG AT CE­LE­BRI­TY WED­DINGS & FUN­ER­ALS


HYMNS WHOSE AU­THORS NE­VER HEARD THEM SUNG


HYMNISTS WHO WERE NO­TA­BLE PUB­LIC SER­VANTS


HYMNISTS THAT ACTED IN MOVIES


HYMNISTS WHO LEARNED OF THEIR WORK’S PUB­LI­CA­TION ON­LY AF­TER HEAR­ING IT SUNG


HYMNISTS THAT LOST FA­MI­LIES IN SHIP DIS­AS­TERS


HYMNISTS WHO WERE MUR­DERED


HYMNS IN­SPIRED BY MUR­DERS OR AS­SAS­SIN­A­TIONS


HYMNS THAT FIRST AP­PEARED IN NO­VELS


HYMNS WRIT­TEN BY NON-CHRIS­TIANS


TUNES SHARED WITH SE­CU­LAR SONGS


MOST PRO­LI­FIC HYMN­IST

Probably Fan­ny Cros­by (1820–1915): she wrote over 8,000 hymns. It’s said ed­it­ors didn’t want to pub­lish so ma­ny hymns by one au­thor in a sin­gle book, so they asked her to use pseu­do­nyms (she had ov­er 200). For a list of Fan­ny’s hymns that we have, click here.

Runners up for most pro­lific hym­nist in­clude Charles Wes­ley, George Ma­the­son, and Is­aac Watts.


YOUNGEST HYMN­IST

Our guess is John Mil­ton, who was 15 years old when he wrote Let Us with a Glad­some Mind. Run­ners up in­clude:


OLDEST HYM­NIST

The cur­rent con­tend­er is Fan­ny Cros­by: The day be­fore her death at age 95, she wrote her last hymn, to con­sole a neigh­bor who had lost a child. An­oth­er work from Fan­ny’s lat­er years is The Blood-Washed Throng, which she wrote at age 86.


BLIND HYMNISTS


HYMNISTS WHO DIED OUT­SIDE THEIR NA­TIVE COUN­TRY


NOBEL PRIZE WIN­NING HYM­NISTS


HYMNISTS WITH FOS­SILS NAMED AF­TER THEM


HYMNISTS WITH WELL KNOWN SE­CU­LAR ACHIEVEMENTS

ADAMS, Sarah1805–1848Actress, poetNearer, My God, to Thee
ADDISON, Jo­seph1672–1719Writer, po­li­ti­cianThe Spacious Fir­ma­ment on High
ADOLPHUS, Gus­ta­vus1594–1632King of SwedenFear Not, O Little Flock
ALCOTT, Louisa May1832–1888PoetA Little King­dom I Pos­sess
BALCH, Emily Greene1867–1961Nobel prize winnerNow Let Us All Arise and Sing
BARING-GOULD, Sabine1834–1924WriterOnward, Christian Soldiers
BARTON, Bernard1784–1849PoetWalk in the Light
BATES, Katharine Lee1859–1929PoetThe Kings of the East Are Riding
BLAKE, William1757–1827PoetAnd Did Those Feet in Ancient Time
BOWRING, John1792–1872Diplomat, politician
BRADFORD, William1589–1657Colonial governorAnd Truly It Is a Most Glorious Thing
BRONTË, Anne1820–1849Writer
BROWNING, Elizabeth Barrett1806–1861Poet
BRYANT, William Cullen1794–1878Poet
BUNYAN, John1628–1688AuthorHe Who Would Valiant Be
BYROM, John1692–1763Poet, diaristChristians, Awake, Salute the Happy Morn
CAMPBELL, John D. S.1845–1914Politician
CARLYLE, Thomas1795–1881Writer, historianA Safe Strong­hold Our God Is Still
CHESTERTON, Gilbert Keith1874–1936AuthorO God of Earth and Altar
COWPER, William1731–1800Poet
COX, Christopher Christian1816–1882PoliticianSilently the Shades of Ev­en­ing
DWIGHT, Timothy1752–1817College president
DAVIES, Samuel1723–1761College presidentGreat God of Won­ders
DRYDEN, John1631–1700PoetCome, Cre­at­or Spirit, by Whose Aid
EMERSON, Ralph Waldo1803–1882PoetWe Love the Ven­er­a­ble House
GLADSTONE, William Ewart1809–1898StatesmanO Lead My Blind­ness by the Hand
GRANT, Robert1778–1838StatesmanO Worship the King
GURNEY, Dorothy Frances1858–1932PoetO Perfect Love
HAY, John1838–1905Statesman, diplomat
HOLMES, Oliver Wendell1809–1894Poet, teacher
JOHNSON, James Weldon1871–1938Poet, di­plo­mat, ci­vil rights lead­erLift Ev­ery Voice and Sing
KEBLE, John1792–1866Poet, teacher
KEY, Francis Scott1779–1843Lyricist, Lawyer
KEMPENFELT, Richard1718–1782British navy admiral
KILMER, Joyce1886–1918PoetNo Longer of Him Be It Said
LANIER, Sidney1842–1881Poet
LOWELL, James Rus­sell1819–1891PoetOnce to Ev­ery Man and Na­tion
MILLAY, Edna St. Vin­cent1892–1950PoetO God, I Cried, No Dark Dis­guise
MILTON, John1608–1674Poet
MOORE, Clement Clarke1779–1863WriterLord of Life, All Praise Ex­cell­ing
MOORE, Thomas1779–1852Poet, nationalistCome, Ye Disconsolate
PARK, John Edgar1879–1956College presidentWe Would See Jesus
POPE, Alexander1688–1744PoetRise, Crowned with Light
RAYMOND, Rossiter W.1840–1918Novelist, government officialMorning Red
ROSSETTI, Christina1830–1894Poet
SCOTT, Walter1771–1832PoetThat Day of Wrath
SPENSER, Edmund1553–1599PoetMost Glorious Lord of Life
STOWE, Harriet Beecher1812–1896Author
TATE, Nahum1652–1715Playwright, poet laureateWhile Shepherds Watched Their Flocks (Tate)
TENNYSON, Alfred1809–1892PoetRing Out the Old, Ring in the New
VAN DYKE, Henry1852–1933Professor, diplomatJoyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
WHITTIER, John Greenleaf1807–1892PoetDear Lord and Father of Man­kind
WINNER, Septimus1827–1902Poet, composerWhispering Hope

HYMNIST WITH THE MOST UN­U­SU­AL LIFE STO­RY

A sub­ject­ive ca­te­gory, but our vote goes to Dan­i­el de Mar­belle.


DENOMINATIONS WITH FOR­MAL HYMN PRO­CE­DURES

John Wesley’s sing­ing rules for Meth­od­ists (he had a meth­od for ev­ery­thing!):

  1. Learn the tune.
  2. Sing them as they are print­ed.
  3. Sing all. If it is a cross to you, take it up and you will find a bless­ing.
  4. Sing lus­ti­ly and with a good cour­age.
  5. Sing mo­dest­ly. Do not bawl.
  6. Sing in time. Do not run be­fore or stay be­hind.
  7. Above all, sing spir­it­u­al­ly. Have an eye to God in ev­ery word you sing. Aim at pleas­ing Him more than your­self, or any oth­er crea­ture. In or­der to do this, at­tend strict­ly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not car­ried away with the sound, but of­fered to God con­tin­u­al­ly.