This week’s song is a pioneer song entitled, "How Firm a Foundation". Click here for music.
Scriptures for this song:
Text attributed to Robert Keen (ca. 1787)
Music attributed to J. Ellis (ca. 1889)
The story behind the song:
Dr. John Rippon, a Baptist minister, brought this hymn to America with a collection of hymns in his hymnal. The earliest copies of this hymn show the composer to have been K______. It is thought that Robert Keen is the most likely candidate to have written this work.
The popularity of this hymn spread across many religions, and has withstood the test of time. It teaches timeless Christian principles.
The hymn was sung at the funerals of several different U.S. Presidents, including Andrew Jackson and Theodore Roosevelt. It was also a favorite of General Robert E. Lee.
One time this hymn was sung by a group of American soldiers on Christmas day in Cuba during the Spanish-American war. More and more soldiers joined in until thousands, even the whole army corps, along the ridge were singing. All were of varying religions, but united in this.
This song was sung early on to the same tune as "O Come All Ye Faithful." Today, it isn't sung to that tune, but to two separate tunes, depending upon what church you may be attending.
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.