About Sunday's Prelude

by Ellen Jackson


I’m playing “Variations on ‘Oh, for a Thousand Tongues’ ” as the first part of our worship service this Sunday. Each variation is associated with specific words from the hymn. Knowing the reference to the text might help you to listen with more appreciation for how the arranger, Robert Hobby, has interpreted this great hymn. Included in parentheses are the arranger’s suggestions for how the music should be played. I hope that “knowing” will enrich your own worship experience.


Variation 1 – (“with glee!”) “Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise . . .”

Variation 2 – (“sprightly”) “ . . . Assist me to proclaim to all the earth abroad the honors of Your name.”


Variation 3 – (“peacefully”) “The name of Jesus charms our fears and bids our sorrows cease, sings music in the sinner’s ears, brings life and health and peace.”


Variation 4 – (“boldly/brightly”) “He breaks the power of canceled sin; He sets the prisoner free.” We hear the heaviness of sin and then the joy and freedom of forgiveness.


Variation 5 – (“with energy”) This stanza is new to me: “To God all glory, praise and love be now and ever given by saints below and saints above, the Church in earth and heaven.”