Monday 16 July 2012


Just a link today to this balanced and judicious savaging of modern hymn-writers. I shall merely observe that hymn comes from the Greek hymnos, meaning song, and may possibly be a variant of hymenaios, which means wedding song. What's fun about that is that hymenaios comes from Hymen, the Greek god of marriage, which may possibly come from hymen meaning hymen. That is all, though, terribly speculative.

And, for what it's worth, my favourite hymn lines are by Cardinal Newman:

And with the dawn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost a while.

I think it's all the Ls

A tip of the blogger's bowler to the Antipodean.


  1. I agree that is a beautiful Hymn. I wonder whether John Henry’s hymns date back to his Anglican days?
    Personally I prefer something more boisterous, such as Ralph Vaughan Williams’ revamp of a fine old Sussex folk song (Our Captain Calls) for words adapted from Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress by the Reverend Percy Dearmer.

  2. Hymen could be derived from Hi,men! Hmmmn.

    Laurie -

  3. I've just discovered that a grocer in Belsize Park has appointed its own poet laureate. A sample:
    "O happy folk of Belsize Park
    At last you have your wish,
    For Thornton’s Budgens now presents
    A plenitude of fish!"