Christopher Smart: Hymns and Spiritual Songs

(2219 words)

What needs to be made clear from the outset is that Christopher Smart never intended his Hymns and Spiritual Songs to be sung. It was his metrical version of The Psalms which he meant to be put to music. In Jubilate Agno (D. 217) he had written “I pray for a musician or musicians to set the new psalms.” And they were. In 1765, two years after their publication, J. Walsh, a bookseller whose speciality was music, brought out A Collection of Melodies for the Psalms of David According to the Version of Christopher Smart, M.A., by the most eminent Composers of Church Music. And eminent they were. They included the organists of Westminster Abbey and of King’s College Cambridge, and William Boyce, Master of H…

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Curry, Neil. "Hymns and Spiritual Songs". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 July 2008
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]