Something to listen to while you read…sheet music available at Sheet Music Plus.
Pastor and prolific poet John S. B. Monsell (1811-1875) wrote three hundred hymns – many of which celebrate the seasons of the church year. Sing to the Lord of Harvest, his thanksgiving hymn text based heavily on a portion of Psalm 65, made its first appearance in his Hymns of Love and Praise (1866) where he states in the preface,
…such portions of our Divine worship should be more fervent and joyous, more expressive of real and personal love to God than they are in general found to be.
Today, Monsell’s thanksgiving hymn text is commonly sung with the tune Wie Lieblich Ist Der Maien. Originally a love song, the tune was composed in 1575 by German organist, poet, and civil servant Johann Steurlein (1546-1613). Steurlein’s tune made its transition from love song to hymn tune in David’s Himlische Harpffen (1851) where it was paired with Martin Behm’s hymn text Wie Lieblich Ist Der Maien, thus giving the tune its name. In 1905, it was then matched with Monsell’s Sing to the Lord of Harvest in W. Garrett Horder’s Worship Songs creating a “fervent and joyous” hymn like Monsell was seeking.
In keeping with Monsell’s spirit of “fervent and joyous”, I teamed up Sing to the Lord of Harvest in this piano arrangement with another equally bubbly Thanksgiving hymn, Come, Ye Thankful People, Come. I gave Sing to the Lord of Harvest more the “straight man” role in this comedic team but it still has jocular moments to create a fun, festive arrangement that joyfully celebrates a bountiful harvest. Enjoy!
Sing to the Lord of harvest,
Sing songs of love and praise;
With joyful hearts and voices
Your alleluias raise:
By Him the rolling seasons
In fruitful order move;
Sing to the Lord of harvest
A song of happy love.