Friday, July 11, 2014

The Story Behind All People That on Earth Do Dwell

William Kethe (, the author of the words to the hymn "All People That on Earth Do Dwell, was a Scottish clergyman forced to flee during the reign of "Bloody Mary", the Catholic queen who persecuted Protestants. His travels took him first to Germany and then to Geneva, Switzerland, where John Calvin was teaching and preaching.

John Calvin promoted the use of Psalms and other Scripture songs for worship. The Genevan Psalter, which he initiated, was published in 1562. Among the 150 Psalms were 25 by William Kethe, including Psalm 100. When he returned to Scotland in 1561, he took the Psalter with him. All of his Psalms were included in the 1564 version of the English Psalter.

The front piece to the 1618 Genevan Psalter
Louis Bourgeois (c.1510-1560), the composer of the tune The Old Hundredth,was a French composer who was the lead tune collector for the Genevan Psalter.

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