Posted by: rcottrill | April 11, 2010

Today in 1779 – Luise Reichardt Born

C. Luise Reichardt was born in Berlin, Germany. Her father was a composer and music teacher. Luise became a singer and vocal music teacher, first in Berlin, then in Hamburg (where she also became the director of a women’s choir). Tragedy struck her life when her fiancee died shortly before they were to be married. Later, she also lost her voice, surely devastating for a singer. She composed over 90 songs and choruses of her own, as well as translating and arranging the works of others. Miss Reichardt is known in hymnody as the composer of the tune Armageddon, to which we sing Frances Havergal’s Who Is on the Lord’s Side? (For more about this hymn, see the second item under Today in 1834.)

Who is on the Lord’s side? Who will serve the King?
Who will be His helpers, other lives to bring?
Who will leave the world’s side? Who will face the foe?
Who is on the Lord’s side? Who for Him will go?
By Thy call of mercy, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Saviour, we are Thine!

Not for weight of glory, nor for crown and palm,
Enter we the army, raise the warrior psalm;
But for love that claimeth lives for whom He died:
He whom Jesus nameth must be on His side.
By Thy love constraining, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Saviour, we are Thine!

(2) Today in 1957 – Michael Card Born
Well known contemporary Christian song writer and performer, Michael Card, was born in Madison, Tennessee. The son of a doctor, and grandson of a Baptist clergyman, Mr. Card earned a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies at Western Kentucky University, receiving in 1997 the university’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Michael Card’s many songs give evidence of careful Bible research. His best known song is perhaps El Shaddai, a piece that incorporates some Hebrew names for God found in Scripture, in the refrain.

  • El Shaddai means God Almighty, as in: “Also God said to him: ‘I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body’” (Gen. 35:11).
  • El Elyon means Most High God, as in: “And he blessed him and said: ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth’” (Gen. 14:19).
  • Adonai means Lord or Master, as in: “Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications (Ps. 130:2).

El Shaddai, El Shaddai, Elyon no Adonai
[God Almighty, God Almighty, Most High O Lord]
Age to age You’re still the same
By the power of the name
El Shaddai, El Shaddai, erkamka na Adonai
[God Almighty, God Almighty, I will love You, O Lord]
We will praise and lift You high,
El Shaddai.


  1. Through your love and through the ram,
    You saved the son of Abraham;
    Through the power of your hand,
    Turned the sea into dry land.
    To the outcast on her knees,
    You were the God who really sees,
    And by Your might,
    You set Your children free.

    For those who celebrate the Great Vigil of Easter, El Shaddai could serve as one of the canticles during the Service of Readings, as the imagery relates to some of the scripture that is read.

  2. I would add that there would be less controversy over music forms in some circles if contemporary lyrics were this good across the board!

    • Amen to that. But that would require more song writers who, like Michael Card, are biblically literate and have a firm grasp of theology. Not only are these things not as prevalent as they once were, hymn book editors have become complicit in “dumbing down” the hymns so that the untaught will not have to stretch their minds and learn something. I’ve seen substitutions for Robinson’s “Here I raise mine Ebenezer” that don’t even make sense. The same likely can be said for Luther’s “Lord Sabaoth His name.” Yet both of these are based on Scripture and are rich in meaning.


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