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, John Quincy1767–1848American PresidentThe Hour-Glass
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
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
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 very 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.