Presbyterian 1955 Hymnbook: http://amzn.to/2zSRdpL

Episcopal 1940 Hymnal: http://amzn.to/2DEOl1H 

Broadman 1940 Hymnal:  http://amzn.to/2C1WuwK

Lutheran 1941 Hymnal:  http://amzn.to/2zUmYi2

Methodist 1939 Hymnal:  http://amzn.to/2CfJ1Wq

Pilgrim 1935 Hymnal: http://amzn.to/2DDvbJC

Text by: John Milton 1608-1674

Innocents  https://youtu.be/7cgr1UR08og

Monkland  http://youtu.be/gWWkNR72FS4

John Milton, who wrote his most famous work: “Paradise Lost” very late in his life; wrote this paraphrase of Psalm 136 when he was just 15 years old. It was part of a group of paraphrases or metrical setting he did on a number of Psalms. This followed in the early Protestant tradition of using or basing their hymns on the Psalms. While the original paraphrase had 24 two line stanzas, hymn publishers have for the most part settled upon these eight stanzas. Milton maintains the last part of each verse: for his mercy endureth forever, using it as a refrain for his verses.

Paraphrase of Psalm 136

Psalm 136King James Version (KJV)

1 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever.

2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth forever.

3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth forever.

4 To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth forever.

5 To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth forever.

6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth forever.

7 To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth forever:

8 The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth forever:

9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth forever.

10 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth forever:

11 And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth forever:

12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth forever.

13 To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth forever:

14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth forever:

15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth forever.

16 To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth forever.

17 To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth forever:

18 And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth forever:

19 Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth forever:

20 And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth forever:

21 And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth forever:

22 Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth forever.

23 Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth forever:

24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth forever.

25 Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth forever.

26 O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth forever.

Milton’s Paraphrase:

  1. Let us, with a gladsome mind,
    praise the LORD, for He is kind.

    Refrain
    For His mercies aye endure,
    ever faithful, ever sure.

    2. Let us blaze His Name abroad,
    for of gods He is the God. [Refrain]

    3. He with all commanding might
    filled the new made world with light. [Refrain]

  2. He hath, with a piteous eye,
    Looked upon our misery. [Refrain]

    5. He the golden tressèd sun
    Caused all day his course to run. [Refrain]

    6. Th’horned moon to shine by night;
    ’Mid her spangled sisters bright. [Refrain]

    7. All things living He doth feed,
    His full hand supplies their need. [Refrain]

    8. Let us, with a gladsome mind,
    Praise the Lord, for He is kind. [Refrain]

The tune: Monkland, has an interesting history, this is the Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988 summary of its history:

“The tune MONKLAND has a fascinating if complex history. Rooted in a tune for the text “Fahre fort” in Johann A. Freylinghausen’s (PHH 34) famous hymnal, Geistreiches Gesangbuch (1704), it then was significantly altered by John Antes (b. Frederick, PA, 1740; d. Bristol, England, 1811) in a Moravian manuscript, A Collection of Hymn Tunes (c. 1800). Antes was a missionary, watchmaker, business manager, and composer. Born near the Moravian community of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, he was trained at the Moravian boys’ school and later received religious education and further training as a watchmaker in Herrnhut, Germany. From 1770 to 1781 he served as a missionary in Egypt and from 1783 until his death was the business manager of the Moravian community in Fullneck, England. Although music was his avocation, Antes was a fine composer and musician. Among his compositions are a number of anthems, several string trios, and over fifty hymn tunes.

MONKLAND received its present shape at the hands of John Lees in another Moravian hymnal, Hymn Tunes of the United Brethren (1824). From there John Wilkes (b. England, date unknown; d. England, 1882) simplified it and introduced it to Henry W. Baker (PHH 342), who published it in the English Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861) to his own harvest-theme text, “Praise, O Praise Our God and King.” Wilkes named the tune after the village where he was organist and Baker was vicar–Monkland–located near Leominster in Herefordshire, England. Wilkes died around 1882; he should not be confused with the better-known John Bernard Wilkes (1785-1869).

MONKLAND’s well-designed melodic contour is a good match for the text. Sing the tune in parts, except on the refrain line, which is appropriately sung in unison.”

–Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988