O Give the LORD Wholehearted Praise


Performance Notes:

Tune Information:

William Gardiner (b. Leicester, England, 1770; d. Leicester, 1853) first published GERMANY as a setting for the text "As a Shepherd Gently Leads Us" in his Sacred Melodies (vol. 2, 1815), in which he attributed it to Ludwig van Beethoven. The last phrase of this tune resembles a part of the first theme of the Allegretto movement of Beethoven's Piano Trio, Op. 7, No.2. The first phrase is from the opening of the aria “Possenti Numi” in Mozart's The Magic Flute. The tune is also known by the names BEETHOVEN, FULDA, WALTON, or GARDINER. Sing GERMANY briskly to get the sense of two long lines rather than four shorter, choppy ones. Antiphony is helpful for singing the entire psalm.

The son of an English hosiery manufacturer, Gardiner took up his father's trade in addition to writing about music, composing, and editing. Having met Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven on his business travels, Gardiner then proceeded to help popularize their compositions, especially Beethoven's, in England. He recorded his memories of various musicians in Music and Friends (3 volumes, 1838-1853). In the first two volumes of Sacred Melodies (1812, 1815), Gardiner turned melodies from composers such as Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven into hymn tunes in an attempt to rejuvenate the singing of psalms. His work became an important model for American editors like Lowell Mason, and later hymnbook editors often turned to Gardiner as a source of tunes derived from classical music.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.
  • The following are alternative accompaniments for this tune, GERMANY/WALTON/FULDA.

Alternative Harmonization for Organ and Descant Resources:

  • Archer, Malcolm. After the Last Verse. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0 86209 502 6 [1995]
  • Cassler, G. Winston. Organ Descants for Selected Hymns. Augsburg 11-9304 [1972]
  • Goode, Jack C. Thirty-Four Changes on Hymn Tunes. H W Grey GB 644 [1978]
  • Mawby, Colin.  Hymns for Occasions. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0-86209-568-9 [1994]
  • Rawsthorne, Noel. 200 Last Verses. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0 86209 189 6 [1991]
  • Wilkinson, John T. One Hundred and Four Descants for “The Hymn Book”. enThusia [1980]
Song Audio: 
Psalm 111
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