Interlude: A Little More on Joachim Neander’s "Lobe Den Herren"/ Praise to the Lord

One of the hymns sung during the baptism of the Princess Charlotte on 5 July 2015 was Catherine Winkworth’s English versification of Joachim Neander’s German hymn “Lobe den Herren”, “Praise to the Lord”.

Joachim Neander, a German scholar, teacher and poet who was much influenced by the Pietist movement within the Lutheran church, lived just 30 years – from 1650 to 1680 – and composed this beautiful hymn in 1680, that is, in the very year of his death from tuberculosis.  According to various sources – for example, this –,%20the%20Almighty.htm

the hymn is inspired not only by Psalms 103 and 150 but by the beauty of the hills and rivers of the countryside around Dusseldorf, where Neander was living at the time of writing. 

The original German text, which I found thanks to wikipedia (which does have its uses from time to time), reads as follows:

“Lobe den Herren,

den mächtigen König der Ehren,

meine geliebete Seele,

das ist mein Begehren.

Kommet zuhauf,

Psalter und Harfe, wacht auf,

lasset den Lobgesang hören!

“Lobe den Herren,

der alles so herrlich regieret,

der dich auf Adelers

Fittichen sicher geführet,

der dich erhält,

wie es dir selber gefällt;

hast du nicht dieses verspüret?

Lobe den Herren,

der künstlich und fein dich bereitet,

der dir Gesundheit verliehen,

dich freundlich geleitet.

In wieviel Not

hat nicht der gnädige Gott

über dir Flügel gebreitet!

Lobe den Herren,

der deinen Stand sichtbar gesegnet,

der aus dem Himmel

mit Strömen der Liebe geregnet.

Denke daran,

was der Allmächtige kann,

der dir mit Liebe begegnet.

Lobe den Herren,

was in mir ist, lobe den Namen.

Alles, was Odem hat,

lobe mit Abrahams Samen.

Er ist dein Licht,

Seele, vergiss es ja nicht.

Lobende, schließe mit Amen”.

Now, here is the full text of the 19th century Englishwoman Catherine Winkworth’s versification of Neander’s poem. 

“Praise to the Lord the Almighty the King of creation

O my soul praise Him for He is thy health and salvation

All ye who hear

Brothers and sisters draw near

Praise Him in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth

Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustainerth

Hast thou not seen?

All that is needful hath been

Granted in what He ordaineth.

Praise to the Lord who doth prosper thy work and defend thee

Surely his goodness and mercy here daily attend thee

Ponder anew

What the Almighty can do

Who with His love doth defend thee.

Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore Him.

All that hath life and breath come now with praises before Him.

Let the amen

Sound from his people again

Gladly for aye we adore him.”

Born in London, Catherine Winkworth (1837-1878) died at age 48; one brief account of her relatively short but very busy life, soaked in music and poetry and also active in the promotion of the rights and education of women and girls, may be read here:

And here is a lively and charming performance – on accordion –  of the tune to which this hymn is usually sung.



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