The hymn originally appeared in the second edition of Songs of Praise (published in 1931), to the tune "Bunessan", composed in the Scottish Islands. In Songs of Praise Discussed, the editor, Percy Dearmer, explains that as there was need for a hymn to give thanks for each day, English poet and children's author Eleanor Farjeon had been "asked to make a poem to fit the lovely Scottish tune". A slight variation on the original hymn, also written by Eleanor Farjeon, can be found in the form of a poem contributed to the anthology Children's Bells, under Farjeon's new title, "A Morning Song (For the First Day of Spring)", published by Oxford University Press in 1957. The song is noted in 9/4 time but with a 3/4 feel.
"Bunessan" had been found in L. McBean's Songs and Hymns of the Gael, published in 1900. Before Farjeon's words, the tune was used as a Christmas carol, which began "Child in the manger, Infant of Mary", translated from the Scottish Gaelic lyrics written by Mary MacDonald. The English-language Roman Catholic hymnal also uses the tune for the James Quinn hymns "Christ Be Beside Me" and "This Day God Gives Me", both of which were adapted from the traditional Irish hymn St. Patrick's Breastplate. Another Christian hymn "Baptized In Water" borrows the tune.
The Roman empire under Hadrian (ruled 117–138), showing the location of the Chatti in central Germany. (Courtesy of Andrei N and Wikipedia)
The Chatti (also Chatthi or Catti) were an ancient Germanic tribe whose homeland was near the upper Weser. They lived in central and northern Hesse and southern Lower Saxony, along the upper reaches of that river and in the valleys and mountains of the Eder and Fulda regions, a district approximately corresponding to Hesse-Kassel, though probably somewhat more extensive. They settled within the region in the first century B.C. According to Tacitus. The Batavians of his time were descended from a part of the Chatti, who left their homeland after an internal quarrel drove them out, to take up new lands at the mouth of the Rhine. (Courtesy of Wikipedia) (CLICK ON MAP TO ENLARGE)
The Scottish Wildcat, the feature charge on many heraldic designs, endangered not from hunters but domestic hybridization.
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