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
One day, dear children, you must die
12017-06-23T17:32:16+00:00Donal Hegartyd91ac6951fc09687a65f62d6a62eb9d3c37c260311Score from: Dykes, Rev. John B., ed. Accompanying Tunes to the ‘Hymns for Infant Children.’ London: Jos. Masters, 1862. Print.plain2017-06-23T17:32:16+00:00Donal Hegartyd91ac6951fc09687a65f62d6a62eb9d3c37c2603
“One day, dear children, you must die” was not at all popular but it was written by the famed Victorian hymn-composer, John B. Dykes, especially for children, writing tunes to accompany Hymns for Infant Children (1862). As he states in the third person: “He has made it his aim to provide music which—while, if possible, such as shall satisfy the taste of the musician—shall be pleasing and attractive to children” (Preface). This melody, like his for adults such as “Holy, holy, holy,” are lush, even when set to unappealing texts such as this one (writer is anonymous): “Within the grave your limbs must lie,/ And cold and stiff your bodies grow” just “leaves decay,/ And quickly fall beneath your feet” (v. 2). One must therefore learn to be “gentle, humble, meek, and mild….” (v. 3). It would be a difficult hymn to sing for adults or children; fortunately, Dykes’ melody somewhat compensates (listen for the melodic moment in line 3, which sounds like a phrase in Sherman and Sherman’s “Perfect Nanny” from Mary Poppins!)
More discussion on this hymn can be found in Chapter 3, British Hymn Books for Children.