Well, yet again, we have for the second day in a row a Charles Wesley hymn. Yesterday’s, Hymn of the Day: Hail the Day, was really a revised version of one of his hymns. Today’s though is the real deal! I couldn’t help myself when I remembered this lovely song. So, that is why we have two hymns back to back that are written by the same author.
“Charles disliked the prevalence of the psalms in worship songs of his time. Out of that, he gave Methodism and modern hymnody many original hymn texts, including “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing,” which he wrote for Sunday, May 21, 1739—the first anniversary of his conversion on Pentecost Sunday, or Whitsunday as it was known then. The conversion had preceded by three days John Wesley’s famous reaffirmation of his faith at Aldersgate Chapel.
The hymn was first published in A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People Called Methodists (1780). The significance of this hymn in the Methodist tradition is symbolized by its appearance as the first hymn in the United Methodist Hymnal (1989).” https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-o-for-a-thousand-tongues-to-sing
This is another favorite of mine for multiple reasons. The wording, the melody, and the bass line get to me every time! (I am a bass, so when a song is able to be sung in my range it attracts me!) Verse 4, in this hymnal’s version, is my favorite stanza. “He breaks the power of canceled sin, He sets the pris’ner free; His blood can make the foulest clean– His blood availed for me.”
This is Bob Kauflin from Sovereign Grace Music leading the singing at Together for the Gospel in 2008. I don’t know about you, but to me, there is nothing better than hearing “a thousand tongues” (probably more) singing praise to God! This version has an extra verse that the song sheet below does not have. It is not that I don’t approve of the extra verse, it is just that I could not find a version that had all the verses!!!