- The following article is from the Psalter Hymnal Handbook.
John Goss composed LAUDA ANIMA (Latin for the opening words of Psalm 103) for this text in 1868. Along with his original harmonizations, intended to interpret the different stanzas, the tune was also included in the appendix to Robert Brown¬ Borthwick's Supplemental Hymn and Tune Book (1869). LAUDA ANIMA is one of the finest tunes that arose out of the Victorian era. A reviewer in The Musical Times, June 1869, said, "It is at once the most beautiful and dignified hymn tune which has lately come under our notice."
Try singing in concertato fashion: the unison stanzas sung by the congregation and stanza 2 as well as the original stanza 4 (see below) sung by the choir in harmony, preferably unaccompanied.
Frail as summer's flower we flourish,
blows the wind and it is gone;
but while mortals rise and perish,
God endures unchanging on.
praise the High Eternal One.
-based on Psalm 103:15-17
Singers and accompanists will want to emphasize the melodic contours and not the marching rhythms emphasized by the bar lines. Organists, take advantage of Goss's interpretation of the various stanzas by playing the first stanza with solid and firm foundation stops, the second (if accompanied) with quieter sound, and the third with a very legato gentle sound on strings. Then open all the stops for a majestic conclusion on the fourth stanza.
- Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.
- The following are alternative accompaniments for this tune, LAUDA ANIMA
Alternative Harmonization for Organ and Descant Resources:
- Archer, Malcolm. After the Last Verse. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0 86209 502 6 
- Burkhardt, Michael As Though the Whole Creation Cried vol. 2. Morningstar MSM-10-606 
- Fedak, Alfred V. Hymn Intonations Preludes and Free Harmonizations. Vol III. Selah 160-723 
- Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations for Organ. bk. 3 Ludwig O-10 
- Mawby, Colin. Hymns for Occasions. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0-86209-568-9 
- Noble, T. Tertius. Fifty Free Organ Accompaniments to Well-Known Hymn Tunes. J. Fischer 8430 
- Rawsthorne, Noel. 200 Last Verses. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0 86209 189 6 
- Shaw, Geoffrey. The Descant Hymn Book bk 2. Novello
- Sowerby, Leo. Ten Hymn Tune Descants. H.W.Grey CMR 2838 
Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
- Hopson, Hal H. The Creative Use of the Piano in Worship. Hope 8392 
- Porter, Rachel Trelstad. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 
- 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.