Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Jauchze Laut, Jerusalem!

There is an amazing Christmas Hymn in the German hymnbook, named "Daughter of Zion".* (And you can blame Ray for getting me thinking about German Christmas hymns in the middle of spring.) It goes:

"Daughter of Zion, rejoice! Jubilate, o Jerusalem!
See, thy King comes to thee,
yes, He comes, the Prince of Peace.
Daughter of Zion, rejoice! Jubilate, o Jerusalem!

"Hosanna, David's Son, may thy people be blessed!
Establish now thy eternal Kingdom,
Hosanna in the highest!
Hosanna, David's Son, may thy people be blessed!

"Hosanna, David's Son, be greeted, gentle King!
May thy throne of peace stand eternal,
Thou, child of the Eternal Father.
Hosanna, David's Son, be greeted, gentle King!"

Like many hymns, I think it should be sung at about twice the typical tempo. After all, it's talking about rejoicing! And it uses many exclamation points!

When I sing it to my daughters, I sing it with joy and when I sing, I feel prayer. What hymns make you want to jauchze**?

*all translations are loose. I'm hardly a professional.
**Rejoice or jubilate . . . but the word "jauchzen" feels so much more like it.


  1. I like to sing the "chorus" of "I Stand All Amazed" about twice as fast as the rest of the song - and I don't like to drag the rest of the song!!

    I agree that if we picked up the tempo of lots of our hymns, the effect would be instantaneous and wonderful. Wherever pianists / organists can play the written tempo (or even a little faster in some cases), it should be done.

    (and you're welcome for getting you thinking about this song - which is beautiful)

  2. As far as I am concerned, most of the tempos in the hymnbook are dead wrong and they kill the power of the music.

    When I conducted, both me and the organist moved at a good clip through most hymns. It was kind of funny the first few weeks as the congregation desperately tried to keep up, but once they figured out we were going to move, it came together. And, it was more musically fulfilling and energizing as a result.


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