EASTER HYMN originally appeared in the John Walsh collection Lyra Davidica (1708) as a very active tune. It was simplified to its present version by John Arnold in his Compleat Psalmodist (1749). It is one of the best and most widely known English hymn tunes for Easter.
See a list of other popular hymn and chorale themes here.
Written by George J. Elvey for the text “Crown Him with Many Crowns” by Matthew Bridges, DIADEMATA was first published in the 1868 Appendix to Hymns Ancient and Modern. The name of the tune is derived from the Greek word for “crowns.” While occasionally used for other texts, the melody retains a close association with the original lyrics.
The melody for LASST UNS ERFREUEN is named for the Easter text “Lasst uns erfreuen herzlich sehr” in the Jesuit hymnal Ausserlesene Catlwlische Geistliche Kirchengesänge where it was first published in Cologne in 1623. The setting by Ralph Vaughan Williams first published in The English Hymnal in 1906 has become the most popular version of the tune paired with the text “Ye watchers and ye holy ones” by Athelstan Riley. Other texts often paired with the melody include “All Creatures of our God and King” and “From All That Dwell Below the Skies.”
Originally written by George F. Handel in 1747, this melody was later added to the oratorio Judas Maccabaeus with the lyrics “See, the Conqu’ring hero comes.” In 1884, Edmond L. Bundry wrote new words in French “A Toi la gloire.” This hymn was first translated from French into English by Richard B. Hoyle in 1923, becoming “Thine be the glory.” Other texts for this melody include a wedding hymn in the Netherlands (“Praised Be the Father” and an Advent hymn in Germany (“Tochter Zion, freue dich”).
This melody dates to the Fifteenth century and was very popular in France. The original nine verse Latin hymn was written by Jean Tisserand, OFM (d. 1494). It was assigned to the celebration of Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament on Easter Sunday. While the triple alleluia was only to be sung at the beginning and ending, it has become a persistent refrain after each verse in most modern hymnals. The irregularity of the word stress may also have contributed to the great variety of rhythmic variations in the tune.
See a list of other chant themes here.
See a list of other hymn tunes here.
Victimae paschali laudes is the Sequence chant for Easter Day. Charles Tournemire recorded an improvisation on the chant which was later transcribed be Maurice Duruflé. This transcription has become a popular piece of organ literature.