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Fine Arts Friday: Thanks a lot, Dickens!

This month’s hymn is “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” a still popular though often altered hymn.  You’ll find lovely versions by All Sons & Daughters and Fernando Ortega.

I chose a version by Chris Rice because it leaves the second verse intact:

Here I’ll raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I’m come;

Of course, most people only equate Ebenezer with the mean guy in the Muppet Christmas movie. Or maybe with Patrick Stewart. But in the Bible, Ebenezer means “stone of help.” So “Here I’ll raise my Ebenezer” just means acknowledging God’s help, something well worth singing about. More than that, the hymn is based on I Samuel 7:12, “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the Lord has helped us.” (ESV)

I thought it makes more sense to keep in the lyrics that directly references the inspiring verse, but that’s just me. You can find the lyrics here and here (This version is a mishmash of both lyrics, although most of the lyrics are from the version available at the Timeless Truths website.)

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We’re finally done with the Civil War and are moving on to the Westward Expansion of the reunited country. One of the most popular songs that most people have at least heard is “Home on the Range,” although the song we usually sing isn’t the original written by Dr. Brewster Higley. You can listen to that here, but in a reverse of my hymn decision, I decided to go with the version that’s sung today.

The biggest difference is the chorus. Most people know “Home, home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play.” The original ran, “A home! A home! Where the deer and the antelope play.” There are other differences, but it’s mostly the same song, and one every American should know.


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