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The Riverdale Hymn Book is an attempt to present a limited selection of hymns suited to present day needs, warm with the Spirit of Christian devotion, and expressive of the praises and aspirations of the Communion of Saints.

The first place has been given to the objective hymns, those that lead thought and emotion away from self, up to God and his Christ, and out toward the service of our brother men; and while hymns of more personal tone have not been neglected, the purpose has been the inclusion of those that are uplifting and the avoidance of those that are enervating and depressing.

As far as possible the hymns are presented in their original text. In a number of instances the original text has been used where an altered one has been customary; and wherever a hymn is the work of more than one person the fact is noted.

In the choice of music, the needs of the average congregation have been held in mind. Customary association of hymns with particular tunes has been preserved wherever the music appeared at all worthy. But there has been a constant endeavor to choose musical settings worthy of the hymns and truly voicing their spirit.

We have preferred tunes suitable for unison singing, and tunes have sometimes been set in lower keys so that all the voices in the congregation might sing the melody, leaving the harmony to the organ or choir.

If such tunes as Old Hundredth or St. Anne-and in general the older Psalm tunes and Chorales, should be sung in slower time than is customary, with due regard to the pauses at the end of the lines, there would be a great gain in resonance and effective

We have for this reason made freer use of the pause mark (~) than has lately been common.

The great hymns the classics belonging to all time- together with those hymns of lesser note whose worth has been proved by the common use which has made them familiar, form the basis of the selection; but ancient as well as modern fields have yielded much that is new in both hymns and music. A goodly number, both of hymns and tunes appear for the first time in this country. The newer hymns will be found rich in poetic and devotional quality, and the newer music simple, dignified and melodious.

To the friends who have been our wise and cordial helpers in our work, we express our thanks.

We record our obligations to the various American Hymnals new and old: to the Hymnal of the Scottish Presbyterian Churches; the Canadian Presbyterian Book of Praise; the Hymns Ancient and Modern; the English Hymnal; the Oxford Hymn Book; and the British Wesleyan Methodist Hymn Book.


Acknowledgements are due to the Rev. Stopford A. Brooke, the Rev. Dr. John Brownlie, the Rev. Dr. H. Montagu Butler, the Rev. Dr. Washington Gladden, the Rev. Dr. F. L. Hosmer, the Rev. Dr. John Julian, the Rev. Dr. James M. Whiton, and Mr. Rudyard Kipling for permission to use their hymns; to Mr. Robert Bridges for the use of translations and adaptations from the Yattendon Hymnal; to the Messrs. Macmillan Company for Hymns by Christina Rossetti; to the Messrs. Houghton-Mifflin Company for those of J. G. Whittier and John Hay; and to the publishers of the English Hym nal the use of versions of hymns, Nos. 67, 84, 125 and 354.

Acknowledgements are also due to Miss Broadwood and Mr. R. Vaughan Williams for their adaptations of English Traditional Melodies, and to Prof. Julius Röntgen for a Dutch Traditional Melody; to the Rev. J. S. B. Hodges, the Rev. Clement Powell, the Rev. G. C. E. Ryley, the Rev. T. B. Stephenson, Bishop J. H. Vincent, the Rev. G. R. Woodward, Mr. Robert Drury, J. H. Gower. Mus. D., Oxon, C. H. Lloyd, Mus. D., Oson, Sir Walter Parratt, Mr. Robert Quaile, Professor H. E. Wooldridge, and the Messrs. Hughes and Son for permission to use tunes composed or owned by them.

We are indebted to the Century Company, and also to the Editors of “Hymns of the Kingdom of God," for courtesies extended. To Miss E. C. Tilley, organist at the Riverdale Presbyterian Church we are especially indebted for valuable assistance in the preparation of the music.

We have tried to communicate with all owners of copyrighted hymns or tunes. Occasionally it has been difficult to find addresses or to trace ownership. If for such reasons, or through inadvertence any rights have been overlooked we crave forgiveness.

Ira S. Dodd
Lindsay B. Longacre

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NOTE.—The dates appended to the names of authors and composers are, when obtainable, those of the year in wbich the hymn was written or the tune composed. Frequently it has been possible to give date of publication only: and occasionally hymns were not published until after the author's death. When two dates are found they are those of the original form of the hymn and of the author's own revision given in the book. When the precise date of hymn or tune is uncertain, the letter c. (circa) is appended to the date, or else the years of the author's or composer's birth and death are given e. g. 1811-1887, except when the author or composer is still living, e. g. 1819–, or when the year of death only is known, e. g. d. 1620. When more than one person has had a band in the making of a hymn, the fact is usually noted by the words "and others."

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