Apr 5, 2013

Psalm 148: Universal Praise from the 18th Century


Here is (most of) a setting of Psalm 148 by the 18th century hymn writer, Isaac Watts.  It is set in 8.8.8.8. meter (Long Meter).  See below for tune suggestions if you want to try singing it.

Universal praise to God
(a setting of Psalm 148)

Awake, ye tempests, and his fame
In sounds of dreadful praise declare;
And the sweet whisper of his name
Fill every gentler breeze of air.

Let clouds, and winds, and waves agree
To join their praise with blazing fire;
Let the firm earth and rolling sea
In this eternal song conspire.

Ye flowery plains, proclaim his skill;
Valleys, lie low before his eye;
And let his praise from every hill
Rise tuneful to the neighb'ring sky.

Ye stubborn oaks, and stately pines,
Bend your high branches and adore:
Praise him, ye beasts, in diff'rent strains;
The lamb must bleat, the lion roar.

Birds, ye must make his praise your theme;
Nature demands a song from you;
While the dumb fish that cut the stream
Leap up, and mean his praises too.

Mortals, can you refrain your tongue,
When nature all around you sings?
O for a shout from old and young,
From humble swains and lofty kings!

Wide as his vast dominion lies
Make the Creator's name be known;
Loud as his thunder shout his praise,
And sound it lofty as his throne.

Jehovah! 'tis a glorious word:
O may it dwell on every tongue!
But saints, who best have known the Lord,
Are bound to raise the noblest song.

Speak of the wonders of that love
Which Gabriel plays on every chord:
From all below, and all above,
Loud hallelujahs to the Lord!

~ Isaac Watts

Tune suggestions:
OLD HUNDREDTH (Praise God from whom all blessings flow)
DUKE STREET (Jesus shall reign where’er the sun)
TRURO (Lift up your heads, O mighty gates)
or any other tune in 8.8.8.8 meter (see tune index at the back of any hymnal)