O thou to whom all creatures bow (William Billings)

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  • (Posted 2016-09-23)   CPDL #41194:       
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2016-09-23).   Score information: Letter, 7 pages, 267 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: O thou to whom all creatures bow
Composer: William Billings

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredAnthem

Language: English
Instruments: String ensemble

First published: 1794 in The Continental Harmony
, pp. 105-116.}}

Description: Words adapted from Tate and Brady's New Version, and various scriptures. Mostly four-part a cappella, with two short interludes for two-piece ensemble (one treble, one bass).

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

O thou to whom all creatures bow,
Within this earthly frame,
Through all the world how great art thou,
How glorious is thy name!
Nahum Tate & Nicholas Brady, 1698, Psalm 8, stanza 1

And he shall purify the sons of Levi,
And purge them as gold and silver,
That they may offer unto the Lord,
An offering in righteousness.
Malachi 3:3 (King James Version)

I will deck her priests with health,
And her saints shall shout and sing, Hallelujah.
See Psalm 132:16 (KJV): "I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy."

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened.
And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Isaiah 35:5 (King James Version)

Glory be to thee, O Lord,

For how can they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach except they be sent?
Romans 10:14-15 (King James Version)

The Lord gave the word,
And great was the company of preachers.
See Psalm 68:11 (KJV): "The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it."

How beautiful upon the mountains
Are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings,
That publisheth peace,
See Romans 10:15b (Isaiah 52:7) (KJV): "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"

Peace be on earth, good will toward men.
Luke 2:14 (King James Version)

The great high priest the glorious work has done,
And shouting seraphs bear him to his throne.
Then while the heavens resound with Jubilee,
Let mortals raise the general voice of joy.
(Uncertain)

Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
But unto thy name be the glory.
Psalm 115:1 (King James Version)