In 1957, British organist and composer Francis Jackson decided to write a new tune for the hymn text God, Who Made Heaven and Earth. He hoped to replace the tune that English churches had been using – an old Welsh lullaby called All Through the Night (Ar Hyd y Nos) .
His new tune, East Acklam, never caught on but British hymnologist John Wilson saw value in Jackson’s melody. He asked Methodist pastor and hymn writer Fred Pratt Green to write a new text to go with East Acklam.
Green penned a hymn of thanksgiving and stewardship, For the Fruit of All Creation, and published it in the British Methodist Recorder (1970). Although Green’s text was a hit, East Acklam still didn’t catch on. So today you’ll find most hymnals pair Green’s For the Fruit of All Creation with the original old Welsh lullaby All Through the Night (Ar Hyd y Nos) that started it all.
(And as if Ar Hyd y Nos didn’t have enough texts already, American hymnist Jaroslav Vajda wrote a third, popular hymn text for the tune, Go, My Children, with My Blessing, whose comforting lyrics give a small nod to the tune’s roots as a lullaby.)
My piano arrangement of Ar Hyd y Nos is one of the first I ever wrote. But even though this arrangement is several years old – and I’d write it much differently now – For the Fruit of All Creation’s message of stewardship and social justice is just as (and unfortunately maybe even more so) relevant today. Hope you find the music inspiring.