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O God, our Help in Ages Past


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William Croft (1678—1727) organist and composer

 

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Hymn, words (based on Psalm 90) by Isaac Watts (1674–1748), first pubd. in his Psalms of David (1719) with first words ‘Our God, our help’ which were altered to ‘O God’ by John Wesley in Collection of Psalms and Hymns (1737). Tune (attrib. William Croft) first appeared anonymously, set to Psalm 42, in 1708 Supplement to Tate and Brady Psalms. Known as St Anne, Croft being organist of St Anne's, Soho, in 1708. First line of tune is stock 18th‐cent. phrase and is found in J. S. Bach's org. fugue in E♭ which is therefore known in Eng. as ‘St Anne Fugue’. Has claim to be most popular of all hymns, and is especially assoc. with Remembrance Day services.

Subjects: Music.


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