Sounding ChildhoodMain Menu30 Selections from the Top Ranking Hymns for ChildrenAlphabetical Index of Hymn TitlesScoresRecordingsTimelineCreditsCredits, Permissions and CopyrightWorks CitedRehearsal VideosPart 2--Victorian Secular SongsAlisa Clapp-ItnyreAlisa Clapp-Itnyre ea81b58f96dc50ac6f0312cb8dfd4bbc7d5bfddcSOUNDING VICTORIAN Project 2016
Jesus bids us shine
12017-06-23T17:28:42+00:00Donal Hegartyd91ac6951fc09687a65f62d6a62eb9d3c37c260311Score from: 282 Hymns and Melodies for School and Family Use. Ed. E. W. & J. Gall Inglis. Edinburgh: Gall and Inglis, 1893. Print.plain2017-06-23T17:28:42+00:00Donal Hegartyd91ac6951fc09687a65f62d6a62eb9d3c37c2603
“Jesus bids us shine” is often attributed to the American hymn-writer Emily Huntingdon Miller but was really written by Susan Warner (1881), author of Wide, Wide World. It is a sweet hymn invoking Matthew 5:16 about “let[ting] your light shine before men,” and John 1:5 (“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”). Here, Jesus speaks to children to shine. The child’s location in a “small corner” at first connotes tight spaces where children might be trapped; however, the analogy of a candle in a corner suggests the greater reflection of that light outward when held against a wall, clearly an important lesson for marginalized, disempowered children. Furthermore, Jesus bids them shine in “many kinds of darkness:” “sin, and want and sorrow” (v. 3), noting from heaven when “their light grows dim” (v. 2). It is an interesting mixture of warning and welcome for the luminosity of the child. Its tune, “Little Soldiers,” as used in an 1893 collection, is equally as bright (See Inglis, E. W. and J. Gall, 282 Hymns and Melodies for School and Family Use). Interestingly, the hymn book uses the same tune as is used for “We are little soldiers/ fighting for the Lord” which helps to explain and highlight the emphatic beats.
More discussion on this hymn can be found in Chapter 4, British Hymn Books for Children.