Sunday, August 12, 2007

Redemption Songs


Looking for a wee bit of help. Do any of you know when the hymn book Redemption Songs was first published, or do you know anything about its history?

I have a very oul copy of the music edition that looks to me to have been printed in the 1920s, and is dated March 1929 in the handwriting of a previous owner.

But this one might not be the first edition! The publishers - Pickering and Inglis - seem to have closed down years ago as they don't have a website. Any help much obliged.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

P&I closed their bookshop in Glasgow in the late 90s I think. They were a broadly Brethren publisher up to that point, though the distinctives of that position had long since disappeared. Readers may need to distinguish the P&I Redemption Songs from the other one that has a more second-blessing/Pentecostal emphasis - can't remember the publisher of that one though. CG

Anonymous said...

Mark

Trinity College Library has a record of an edition from 1929 for "Redemption songs : A choice collection of one thousand hymns and choruses ... ". That sounds like the title of the book we used to use in Sunday evening gospel meetings.

http://opac.lib.tcd.ie:8004/WebZ/GeacFETCH?sessionid=01-12117-1419002070:recno=1:resultset=4:format=F:next=html/geacnffull.html:bad=error/badfetch.html::entitytoprecno=1:entitycurrecno=1

CG

Anonymous said...

I should add that TCD is a copyright library, so they would have copies of first editions and often subsequent editions too. It would look like the 1929 edition is therefore a first edition. CG

athamestephen said...

Mark,
Would you believe Rupbert Murdoch now prints it!
I asked Ricky in Ards Evangelical Bookshop about it but Collins prints it now and not much info about Pickering Inglis about.
athamestephen.blogspot.com

Mark said...

Thanks for your help gentlemen; Rupert Murdoch eh? Better check it for unsuitable content!

Looks like 1929 is the first edition - thanks for that Crawford - and yes, it's the same one you used to use.

It's a great hymn book, with a great cross-section of good old-time classics. The Acknowledgements section in the copy I bought recently also thanks E W Bullinger for giving copyright permission (I presume for one of the hymns?). He died in 1913, so I wonder why the 16 year gap?

It seems that, after Sankey's "Sacred Songs and Solos", "Redemption Songs" was one of the hymn books to popularise American revivalist hymns here in Ulster/UK/British Isles.

Many of the American hymns in "Redemption Songs" are classics - not only through hymnals but also those early hillbilly/old time records. For example the wonderful Carter Family recorded "Weary Prodigal Come" in Charlotte, North Carolina on 25th May 1931 (originally written by Charles H Gabriel* in 1889 - no. 125 in "RS").

And all of this was around the time that WP Nicholson was in full flow!

* Gabriel also wrote "Brighten the Corner Where You Are"

Mark said...

Crawford,
I should have said that I was reared on Redemption Songs too - I just had no idea of its history, so thanks for helping to fill in the blanks.

Anonymous said...

Redemption Songs in the evening and the Believers Hymnbook in the morning - funny thing is that the latter was just as good a 'gospel' hymnbook as the former!

So what about that Believers Hymnbook record? CG

GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Fair fa' ye

The Pentecostal leaning hymn book was Redemption Hymnal. We used the Redemption Songs big time in the Iron Hall. I still know many of the nummers of by heart:

559 What a Friend we have in Jesus
773 Years I spent in vanity and pride
351 I once was a stranger
7 To God be the glory
483 Psalm 40

Enjoyed the Believers Hymnbook too.

Claudette said...

HI..I am originally from Jamaica West Indies and grew up in a United Bretheren Church that used the Redemption Songs hymnal...Of course being from a deep rural village we could not afford a piano in the church but we learnsd all the songs by air. Now 40 years later, I am in search of any music edition of this hymnal and heard it's out of print....I long to have a copy of the music edition, even on loan so I can see share the music with my choir memers here in the USA, who have never heard of Redemption Songs: 1000 hymns and choruses. Please help!!!

Claudette

Claudette said...

HI..I am originally from Jamaica West Indies and grew up in a United Bretheren Church that used the Redemption Songs hymnal...Of course being from a deep rural village we could not afford a piano in the church but we learnsd all the songs by air. Now 40 years later, I am in search of any music edition of this hymnal and heard it's out of print....I long to have a copy of the music edition, even on loan so I can see share the music with my choir memers here in the USA, who have never heard of Redemption Songs: 1000 hymns and choruses. Please help!!!

Claudette

Mark Thompson said...

Hi Claudette,
What a great post! It just shows the power of the internet - to link people from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, from Northern Ireland and Jamaica, through a common love of the hymns of "Redemption Songs"!

Send me your postal address and I'll get you a copy - they're pretty easy to find here in Northern Ireland.

Jamie Parfitt said...

Are they really readily available? We used them at West Basingstoke Baptist Church in Basingstoke, Hampshire, in 2003 and 2004. I wanted to get a copy to take home when we moved back to New York, and they said they were out of print. It was a new thing for us to sing out of books with no notes. I finally found an old beat-up copy (three inches thick!) which I bought from some used book seller online from the UK. I would love to have more copies of the one with music or the old ones with just words. We sing two hymns every morning before beginning our home school, and I have to scan pages and print them for my children when we want to learn a new song. I looked online this morning and found the book but it said it had new words, copyright 2005. I'm sure the change in words is not for the better. Can you tell me how I can get as many as 8 possibly?

Mark Thompson said...

Hi Jamie,
I could get you 8 of the hard backed red singing (words only) editions with no problem, it's harder to find the music editions. If you're interested I'll find a supplier and email you their information. PM me to wmthompson/at/btinternet.com

Jamie Parfitt said...

I just found this comment on the internet for anyone interested in how it might shed light on the publication date of "Redemption Songs":

“Hear and Answer Prayer” was published in Re­demp­tion Songs, by John Sweney, William Kirkpatrick, and John J. Lowe in 1889. He combined with such a talented hymnist to create this lovely song.

(The page can be found at http://www.gospelpiano.com

/articles/hear-answer-prayer-20.htm)

I am thankful the Lord has provided so many beautiful songs for us to worship Him with.

Jamie Parfitt said...

Here is more evidence that the book was published in 1889:

"1889

Redemption songs. compiled by L. W. Munhall; musical editors Jno. R. Sweney, Wm. J. Kirkpatrick, and Jno. J. Lowe. Philadelphia: John J. Hood, c1889. "

The page for this info is:

http://www.bju.edu/library/collections/

american_hymn/hl_1881_99.html

TerriAnne said...

Hello from Houston Texas, USA. I recently came across a very old book (in a thrift shop) which contained a post card flyer for a Dixie Gospel Tent located at Peachtree & Linden, with Percy James as the song leader. Further, the book has his name inscribed on it. It appears quite old and seems to be this book you all are speaking of. In fact referring to page numbers and song names is accurate. How might I determine the acutal printing date? This one does not state as much, in fact it doesn't have any dates at all. It is very interesting to me...thanks, and God's Blessing.

Bob Thomas said...

I was raised in the Brethren in Toronto during the 1940s. I remember using Redemption Songs (the red, words only version, but there was a blue-green music version on the piano) for gospel meetings on Sunday night. We used the Little Flock for the Lord's Supper on Sunday mornings.
We graduated to Choice Hymns of the Faith and the Believers' Hymnbook in the late forties or early fifties, and even went to Hymns of Worship and Remembrance!

What a wonderful foundation for both my Christian growth and ministry. I still have copies of the latter books, which I refer to on occasion.

Lindsay said...

A new hymnal published in 2009 called "Redemption Hymns" has 703 songs and about 250 of them are from "Redemption Songs."

In some cases the pitch of the songs has been lowered to make them easier to sing.

See www.redhymns.com for details.

Dr. Val said...

I became a Christian as a young teenager in Limerick. I used to attend Mallow Street Gospel Hall in the 1970's. The "Red Book" "Redemption Songs" was a big part of our worship at the breaking of bread and particularly at the Sunday night meeting. In true Brethren style the hymn numbers allowed all to tripartite in worship and praise. It is fantastic to see it being discussed. Sadly it has been replaced in a lot of Halls and fellowships by Mission Praise. You can't beat the old red book!!