April 2019 - "There Is A Fountain"

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Just in time for the upcoming Easter celebrations, this month's tab is a 2-part arrangement of the 18th century hymn "There Is A Fountain", whose lyrics were written by William Cowper (pronounced "Cooper") in 1772.   A series of life traumas had left Cowper despondent and clinically depressed for most of his life.   At the age of 36, during one of the darkest periods of his life, he met and was befriended by John Newton, the famed author of the hymn "Amazing Grace",  who was then the vicar at a small church in the town of Olney.  Newton convinced Cowper to move to Olney to help him with a hymn-writing project called the "Olney Hymnal".   Cowper wound up writing 68 hymns for that project, including "Oh For A Closer Walk With God", and what would become his most well-known hymn, "There Is A Fountain (Filled With Blood)".

"The Olney Hymnal" became very influential, and Cowper became quite famous as a poet.  He is considered one of the founders of the English Romantic movement in poetry.  His work "John Gilpin" became a childrens' favorite.  His  work "Light Shining Out of Darkness" is the source of the lines:

  "God...

...moves in a mysterious way 
His wonders to perform; 
He plants His footsteps in the sea 
And rides upon the storm."

The melody most commonly associated with the hymn today is a traditional American folk tune which was arranged for the text of this hymn by the American hymnist Lowell Mason, and was subsequently given the tune name "Cleansing Fountain".

Lyrics


There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains:
Lose all their guilty stains,
Lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
And there may I, though vile as he,
Wash all my sins away:
Wash all my sins away,
Wash all my sins away;
And there may I, though vile as he,
Wash all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power,
Till all the ransomed ones of God
Be saved, to sin no more:
Be saved, to sin no more,
Be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed ones of God,
Be saved to sin no more.

E’er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die:
And shall be till I die,
And shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.

When this poor lisping, stammering tongue
Lies silent in the grave,
Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing Thy power to save:
I’ll sing Thy power to save,
I’ll sing Thy power to save;
Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing Thy power to save.

Wishing you all a blessed Easter season!

In music and friendship,

--Tull

 
Tull Glazener