These words have their origin in a number of anonymous German texts from the beginning of the nineteenth century translated by Edward Caswall, himself a highly productive hymn-writer. After a complicated history they coalesced into the present morning hymn in the 1868 Appendix to the first edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern. Joseph Barnby (see also track bq) wrote ‘Laudes Domini’ (‘The Praises of the Lord’) for that same publication, where it was marked to be sung ‘in quick time’. It uses the same idiom as, for example, ‘Sweet and Low’, but Barnby is so much in control that it becomes a joyful evocation of the lifting up of worship in a new day. It is a tune that sings like a bird.
from notes by Alan Luff ©