This week’s song just happened to pop into my mind, so I went with it. I found some interesting tidbits to share with you about it. Click here for sheet music and player.
Scriptures for this song:
**Text by Joel H. Johnson (1802-1882)
**Music by Ebenezer Beesley (1840-1906)
**The original song had two additional verses that are no longer sung.
**This song was performed at the 2002 Olympics by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. You can see and listen to that here.
The story behind the song:
The author of the lyrics wrote hundreds of poems, carrying paper with him wherever he went. This poem was originally entitled “Deseret”. (What is deseret? It means honeybee.) While he was waiting to deliver a load of lumber to the tithing office, he pulled out a paper and prepared to write. He got to thinking about “Old Glory” waving in the breeze on Ensign Peak. As he pictured it in his mind, “almost as if written by unseen hands, words began to appear on the paper.” (from his grandson Bernard A. Johnson) Listen and you will hear that many of the words from this song come directly from the Isaiah scriptures referenced above.
I am doing a little research online to find these things out. I also have a book entitled "Our Latter-day Hymns The Stories and the Messages" by Karen Lynn Davidson from which I am finding information on these songs. If you want more info, the aforementioned book and the internet search engines can get you much more than the little bit I shared.
Here is the first "Marika Lee's Hymn & Scripture Study Sunday" where you can find an explanation of how this series came about.