Come, Christians, Join to Sing (iTunes)
Words by Christian H. Bateman, Music from traditional Spanish melody
From the album Simple Hymns (Wider Sky)
Christian Bateman (1813-1889), an English minister, served in the Moravian church, the Congregational church and, later, the Church of England. He wrote this week's hymn as a Sunday School song for children. He originally entitled the text, "Come, Children, Join to Sing." It was first published in 1843 in a volume called Sacred Melodies for Sabbath School and Families. Bateman later changed the title to include all "Christians," as adults benefited from singing the hymn as much as children. The text includes simple language and the repeated phrase, "Alleluia! Amen!", making it easy for singers to learn. The tune usually paired with the text, known as SPANISH MELODY, is also simple and repetitive in nature. Together, text and tune call believers to raise their voices in praise, echoing the opening verses of Psalm 95: "Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!"