John Bacchus Dykes

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Born: 10 March 1823, Kingston upon Hull

Died: 22 January 1876, Ticehurst, Sussex


John Bacchus Dykes was an English clergyman and hymnist. He was born in Hull, England, and by age 10 was the assistant organist at St. John's Church, Hull, where his grandfather was vicar. He studied at Wakefield and St Catharine's College, Cambridge, earning a B.A. in Classics in 1847. He cofounded the Cambridge University Musical Society. He was ordained as curate of Malton in 1847. For a short time, he was canon of Durham Cathedral, then precentor (1849 – 1862). In 1862 he became vicar of St. Oswald's, Durham until his death in 1876.

He published sermons and articles on religion but is best known for over 300 hymn tunes he composed. Amongst his many notable hymns which are still in wide use may be mentioned: Nicaea, commonly sung to the words "Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!"; Wir Pflügen, harmonised by Dykes and commonly sung to the words "We plough the fields, and scatter" (a translation of the German hymn "Wir pflügen und wir streuen" by the late 18th century German poet Matthias Claudius); Melita, sung to the words "Eternal Father, Strong to Save" (sometimes known as "For those in Peril on the Sea" from its recurring last line); Gerontius, sung to the words "Praise to the Holiest in the Height" (taken from Cardinal Newman's poem The Dream of Gerontius); O Perfect Love; and Dominus Regit Me, sung to the words "The King of love my Shepherd is", one of the many metrical versions of Psalm 23.

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List of choral works

Services & Anthems


Title Tune Comments
Christian, dost thou see them? ST ANDREW OF CRETE
Come unto me, ye weary
Days and moments quickly flying
Eternal Father, strong to save MELITA
Father of heaven, whose love profound
Fierce raged the tempest o'er the deep
Hark, my soul! It is the Lord
Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty NICEA
I heard the voice of Jesus say
In the hour of trial
Jesu, lover of my soul HOLLINGSIDE
Jesu, Thou joy of loving hearts
Jesus, holy, undefiled
Jesus, the very thought of thee DURHAM (ST AGNES)
The King of love my shepherd is DOMINUS REGIT ME
Lamp of our feet ELVET
Lead, kindly light LUX BENIGNA See also:
My song is love unknown ST JOHN
Nearer, my God, to thee HORBURY
Now the labourer's task is o'er REQUIESCAT
O come and mourn with me awhile ST CROSS
O Lord of heaven and earth and sea ALMSGIVING
O Master, let me walk with thee THANKSGIVING
O strength and stay STRENGTH AND STAY
Our blest Redeemer, ere he breathed ST CUTHBERT
Praise to the holiest in the height GERONTIUS
Ride on, ride on in majesty! ST DROSTANE
Saviour, again to thy dear name PAX DEI
Saviour, while my heart is tender ARUNDEL
Ten thousand times ten thousand ALFORD
There is a land of pure delight BEATITUDO
Through the night of doubt and sorrow ST OSWALD
We pray thee, heavenly Father DIES DOMENICA
Whom should we love like thee ST GODRIC

Other works not listed above (See Template:CheckMissing for possible reasons and solutions)

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