Posted by: rcottrill | April 23, 2010

Today in 1807 – Andrew Young Born

Andrew Young was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and he graduated from the University of Edinburgh. He was headmaster of a school in that city, then taught English at Madras College, St. Andrews. In his latter years he served as superintendent of Greenside Parish Sabbath School. He is known in hymnody for one song only, There Is a Happy Land.

There is a happy land, far, far away,
Where saints in glory stand, bright, bright as day.
Oh, how they sweetly sing, worthy is our Saviour King,
Loud let His praises ring, praise, praise for aye.

Come to that happy land, come, come away;
Why will ye doubting stand, why still delay?
Oh, we shall happy be, when from sin and sorrow free,
Lord, we shall live with Thee, blest, blest for aye.

The singers in the following clip are marvelous. My one criticism is that nobody seems particularly “happy,” especially the violinist. Smile, folks! It’s a song of joy.

(2) Today in 1888 – Edward Hopper Died
EGraphic Stormy Sea2dward Hopper was born in New York City. He graduated from New York University in 1839, and from Union Theological Seminary in 1842. He became a Presbyterian clergyman, notably serving the Church of the Land and the Sea, in New York’s harbour area.

Hopper was also a fine poet. In 1871, one of his poems appeared anonymously in The Sailor’s Magazine. The original had six verses. But the author himself later chose three of them to serve as The Sailor’s Hymn (Jesus, Saviour, Pilot Me). It put spiritual things in terms the men he ministered to could understand.

Jesus, Saviour, pilot me
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treacherous shoal.
Chart and compass come from Thee;
Jesus, Saviour, pilot me.

As a mother stills her child,
Thou canst hush the ocean wild;
Boisterous waves obey Thy will,
When Thou sayest to them, “Be still!”
Wondrous Sovereign of the sea,
Jesus, Saviour, pilot me.

John Edgar Gould (1821-1875) managed a music store. He was also a composer, and a compiler of the music of others. Mr. Gould wrote the tune for Edward Hopper’s hymn. Here is a beautiful piano arrangement of it, by a master of the instrument.


  1. Thank you Robert for your kind link and for the video of the tune. Now I know how Jesus Savior Pilot Me sounds.

    • You’re welcome. There’s a contemporary melody that some use for the song, but for my money it’s not nearly as tuneful or singable as the original.

  2. […] 1816; d. Apr. 23, 1888) Music: Pilot, by John Edgar Gould (b. Apr. 9, 1821; Mar. 4, 1875) Links: Wordwise Hymns The Cyber […]


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