4 December - Hills of the North, Rejoice

Yesterday - Up - Tomorrow

A Victorian hymn for Advent, Hills of the North, Rejoice has its words changed on several occasions, either to make some of the consonant clusters more singable or to reduce the colonial cringe factor in later verses. Sadly, some of these attempts managed only to make one or both of these problems worse, and few escape a "written by committee" vibe. This version is one of the better ones, sung from the hymnal "Ancient and Modern".

Music: Martin Shaw (1875-1958)
Words: Editors of English Praise (1975), based on Charles Ernest Oakley (1835-1865)
Musicians: Tony Evershed, Kathleen Jowitt

Hills of the North, rejoice,
river and mountain-spring,
hark to the advent voice;
valley and lowland, sing.
Christ comes in righteousness and love,
he brings salvation from above.

Isles of the Southern seas,
sing to the listening earth,
carry on every breeze
hope of a world's new birth:
In Christ shall all be made anew,
his word is sure, his promise true.

Lands of the East, arise,
he is your brightest morn,
greet him with joyous eyes,
praise shall his path adorn:
your seers have longed to know their Lord;
to you he comes, the final word.

Shores of the utmost West,
lands of the setting sun,
welcome the heavenly guest
in whom the dawn has come:
he brings a never-ending light
who triumphed o'er our darkest night.

Shout, as you journey home,
songs be in every mouth,
lo, from the North they come,
from East and West and South:
in Jesus all shall find their rest,
in him the universe be blest.