The Passion of Jesus invokes both the intense emotion of the last hymn and the child-like wonder of this. Walsham How possessed that rare gift of being able to communicate with children, and was known as ‘the children’s bishop’. Simple though its thoughts are, they are entirely to the point; the hymn is carefully crafted as a child’s meditation on the Cross.
The wrong tune could destroy this hymn: the thoughtful simplicity of a folk tune has been found to serve it well. Herongate is a place near Ingrave, Essex, where Vaughan Williams collected the tune in 1903.
from notes by Alan Luff © 2002