A Cranky Composer's Quick Fix

A Cranky Composer’s Quick Fix

Hymn #50 — “Come, Thou Glorious Day of Promise”

Text: From Pratt’s Collection, ca. 1830; altered
Music: A. C. Smyth (1840-1909; LDS)
Tune name: RUTH

I love this hymn! It has that strong air of many of the great Protestant hymns. Its bold melody right from the outset soars up to the high D. The moving internal quarter notes help propel the 2/2 motion forward with ease.

And then the composer has to go and ruin it for me by insisting on dropping out the men’s parts in the 3rd phrase.

Maybe I’m just cranky because it’s 12:30 am as I’m writing this short hymn critique.

Rather than spend my time doing lots of explaining why I think this is a beautiful hymn that I wish we sang more often (I don’t think I’ve ever heard it in Sacrament Meeting), I decided to compose a quick 4-part version of phrase 3 to fill the gapping whole.


That’s all I’ve got. Time for bed. I hope this hymn sticks around. It’s so nice. Let’s just add some men’s parts. And it doesn’t have to be my harmonization. Mine might be a little much. Who knows.

More tomorrow,


P.S. Need some help with your hymn? Let me take a look. I’d love to help you out. Click below and tell me about yourself. Then I’ll take a look. And I promise I won’t critique yours in the middle of the night, like I did with this one…

Commentary from “The Bench Warmer”

by Jason Gunnell, Organist

This is a very appealing hymn to me. I think the tune is very strong and the describing word of resolutely fits very well. When playing this tune, I do harmonize the third line to invite all to sing, rather than having the men opt out. Douglas E. Bush has written a very beautiful arrangement of this hymn for organ that is very much worth investigating and learning. It is a trio, which are among the more difficult pieces to learn and master, thus the practice and mastering of this little arrangement will help you in your pursuit of learning the organ!

The suggested tempo marking for this hymn is a little too resolute. Taken that slow, it has a strong tendency to drag. I would recommend playing this somewhere between 82-86 beats per minute to maintain a resolute manner, but still have it be singable and to move along. This hymn is a wonderful hymn to have the full principal chorus with the addition of some weight with the use of 16’ stops in the manual.

Registration Starting Point:
Great: Principal 8’, 4’, 2’, Mixture
Swell: Principal 8’, 4’, 2’, Nazard 2 ⅔’ Hautbois 8’
Pedal: Principal 16’, 8’, 4’, Bourdon 16’, Flute 8’
Sw/Gt, Sw/Ped

Possible Final Verse Additions:
Great: Mixture
Swell: Trumpet 8’ Bassoon 16’
Pedal: Bourdon 32’, Reed 16’