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We plough the fields and scatter – Wir pflügen

First line:
We plough the fields and scatter
published in Hanover in 1800; doubtful attribution; NEH 262
author of text
translator of text

Matthias Claudius trained in theology but became a journalist and civil servant. In 1783 he published a short sketch of a harvest thanksgiving in a German farmhouse at which a song is sung. Verses of this were taken to make a hymn and set to the present tune in a publication of 1800. Jane Campbell translated the hymn some fifty years later and it has, since its inclusion in the Hymns Ancient and Modern Supplement of 1869, been a necessary part of any Harvest Festival. Though seeming light and unpretentious, the words are thoroughly biblical.

The tune’s composer rose from humble beginnings in Germany to be the Master of the Chapel to the King of Denmark. It has a wide range, but when a congregation’s imagination is captured, as with this hymn, no obstacle seems too great.

from notes by Alan Luff © 2002


Sing, ye Heavens - Hymns for all time
COLCD126Download only
The English Hymn, Vol. 3 - Hills of the north, rejoice
CDP12103Archive Service


Track 20 on CDP12103 [3'16] Archive Service
Track 17 on COLCD126 [2'38] Download only

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