All Praise to Thee My God This Night

Hymn Lyrics by Thomas Ken (1709), Tune by Thomas Tallis (c. 1561)
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Hymn Lyrics

 All praise to Thee, my God, this night,
For all the blessings of the light!
Keep me, O keep me, King of kings,
Beneath Thine own almighty wings.
Forgive me, Lord, for Thy dear Son,
The ill that I this day have done,
That with the world, myself, and Thee,
I, ere I sleep, at peace may be.
O may my soul on Thee repose,
And with sweet sleep mine eyelids close,
Sleep that may me more vigorous make
To serve my God when I awake
 All praise to Thee, my God, this night,
For all the blessings of the light!
Keep me, O keep me, King of kings,
Beneath Thine own almighty wings.

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Years since this tune first existed

A hymn for reflection

This hymn has the oldest tune in this album. It was made around 460 years ago – and we’re still singing it! I love reading about the history of songs and their authors and composers. This tune was composed by Thomas Tallis and was then set to the lyrics written by Thomas Ken around 1709 AD. Thomas Ken seemed to be an interesting man with very strong views and even stronger principles. It is said that he spoke up to two Kings while he served under them.
Ken established an excellent reputation at Winchester, and was eventually appointed chaplain to King Charles II. When the king decided to visit Winchester, he sent word to Ken that Nell Gwynne, the king’s mistress, was to be lodged at Ken’s house.  Ken not only mounted loud objections, but also hired workmen to remove the roof to his house so that the king could not enforce Nell’s lodgment there.    In that time and place, an act of rebellion against the king could cost a person his head, but King Charles was impressed with Ken’s courage.  Not only did he allow Ken to live, but he even appointed him sometime later to be the Bishop of Bath and Wells.

(https://sermonwriter.com/hymn-stories/doxology/)

I remember when the kids were babies, we would look for music to play while they went to sleep at night, and it was tough to find something that wasn’t too loud / fast (and something we could endure many repetitions of!) When reading the words to his hymn recently, I realised this would’ve been such a nice song for the kids to fall asleep to – or even for me to fall asleep to! It causes us to reflect on the day that has passed, and on our actions of the day. It’s a good way to settle our minds before we go to sleep.
Thomas Ken is of course known for writing the Doxology:
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
We didn’t include it in our version of this hymn, but just so you know, all of Ken’s hymns ended with the doxology. We hope this hymn allows you to reflect / meditate while preparing your minds to rest 🙂

On the Author / Composer