How Shall the Young Direct Their Way


Performance Notes:

Tune Information:

Composed by George J. Elvey in 1862 for 'Just as I Am, without One Plea" (263), ST. CRISPIN was first published in the 1863 edition of Edward Thorne's Selection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes. The tune title honors a third-century Roman martyr, Crispin, who, along with Crispinian, preached in Gaul (modern-day France); these two missionaries are the patron saints of shoemakers and leather workers.

ST. CRISPIN has an attractive melodic contour. Its repeated notes are typical of other "generic" British hymn tunes from the later nineteenth century (for example, QUEBEC; PENTECOST; MORECAMBE; and MARYTON). Sing it in harmony, perhaps unaccompanied on one of the inner stanzas. The parallel structure of the text also invites singing stanzas in alternation between either men or women or two sides of the congregation.

Other Resources:

  • Visit for more information on this song and additional resources.
  • The following are alternative accompaniments for this tune, ST. CRISPIN

Alternative Harmonization for Organ:

  • McKinney, Howard D. Preludes for Fifty-Five Well-Known Hymn Tunes. J. Fischer 9770 [1967]
  • Noble, T. Tertius. Free Organ Accompaniments to One Hundred Well-Known Hymn Tunes. J. Fischer 8175 [1946]
  • Willan, Healey. 36 Short Preludes and Postludes. Set 3 Peters 6163 [1960]
Song Audio: 
Psalm 119:9-16
Song Number: 
Projection and Reprint Information: 
  • Words and Music: The Words and Music are in the Public Domain; you do not need permission to project or reprint the Words and Music.
Public Domain