HYMNS based on psalms include some of the most loved in the
repertory. "The Lord's my shepherd" and "Through all the changing
scenes of life" are just two examples. A Mirror to the
Soul (RSCM, £6.95 (CT Bookshop £6.25);
978-0-85402-234-2) continues this tradition, and consists of 30
psalm-based hymns with words by that most successful of
hymn-writers Timothy Dudley-Smith. Two of his hymns, "Tell out my
soul" and "Lord, for the years" enjoy something like cult status.
The texts in this volume are equally accomplished.
The volume has been put to-gether with the musician William
Llewellyn, and the texts are set to existing hymn melodies, some of
which are very familiar, and to new tunes, including one by John
Rutter. Of the well-known tunes, Ellacombe (which we
associate with the words "The day of resurrection") is pressed into
service for a hymn based on Psalm 99, and Wolvercote ("O
Jesus, I have promised) for a text based on Psalm 72.
Congregational psalm-singing is not as common these days as it
used to be, and is becoming a lost art. This volume is, therefore,
an ideal way of keeping the psalm textsalive. The psalms, of
course, offer a wealth of material for all human conditions. Each
hymn is usefully indexed with a note declaring the underlying theme
of the text on which it is based. For example, Psalm 100 ("O be
joyful in the Lord") comes to us in Dudley-Smith's words as "To
God, our God, the nations' Lord", and the themes are stated as
"testimony; thankfulness and praise".
This volume will be a boonnot just for those who want tosing
psalm texts, but for those who want to widen their hymn