#337 O Home Beloved (Men’s Choir)

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1. O home belov’d, where’er I wander,
On foreign land or distant sea,
As time rolls by, my heart grows fonder
And yearns more lovingly for thee!
Tho fair be nature’s scenes around me,
And friends are ever kind and true,
Tho joyous mirth and song surround me,
My heart, my soul still yearn for you.

2. The flow’rs around me may be fairer
Than those that bloom upon thy hills;
The streams, great, mighty treasure bearers,
More noted may be than thy rills.
No world renown my humble village
Like these great towns may proudly claim;
Yet my fond heart doth thrill with rapture
Whene’er I hear thy humble name.

3. Ye valleys fair and snowcapped mountains,
Ye peaceful hamlets ‘mid the trees,
Ye murm’ring streams and crystal fountains,
Kissed by the cool, soft, balmy breeze,
Words cannot tell how well I love thee
Nor speak my longing when I roam.
My heart alone can cry to heaven,
“God bless my own dear mountain home.”

Text: Evan Stephens, 1854-1930. (c) 1948 IRI
Music: Joseph Parry, 1841-1903

-History: (Source: Wikipedia)

Written By: Evan Stephens

Evan Stephens (June 28, 1854 – October 27, 1930) was a Latter-day Saint composer and hymn writer. He was also the director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for 26 years (1890–1916).

In 1899 the Missionary Song Book edited by Stephens was distributed in the Southern States Mission.[5]

In the 1927 English LDS Hymnbook there were 84 hymns written by Evan Stephens.[2]

His 19 works in the 1985 English language edition of the Latter-day Saint hymnal are:

  • #11 “What Was Witnessed in the Heavens” (music),
  • #17 “Awake, Ye Saints of God, Awake!” (music),
  • #18 “The Voice of God Again is Heard” (words and music),
  • #23 & #312 (Women) “We Ever Pray for Thee” (text and adaptation of music by H. A. Tuckett),
  • #33 “Our Mountain Home So Dear” (music),
  • #35 “For the Strength of the Hills” (music),
  • #55 “Lo, the Mighty God Appearing!” (music),
  • #61 “Raise Your Voices to the Lord'” (words and music),
  • #74 “Praise Ye the Lord” (music),
  • #91 “Father thy Children to Thee Now Raise” (words and music),
  • #118 “Ye Simple Souls who Stray” (music),
  • #120 “Lean on My Ample Arm” (music),
  • #183 “In Remembrance of Thy Suffering” (words and music),
  • #229 “Today, While the Sun Shines (music),
  • #243 “Let Us All Press On” (words and music),
  • #254 “True to the Faith” (words and music),
  • #312 “We Ever Pray for Thee” (words and music),
  • #330 “See The Mighty Angel Flying” (music), and
  • #337 “O Home Beloved” (words).

He wrote several other LDS hymns that do not appear in the 1985 edition of the hymnal.

Included among his works is “Utah, We Love Thee” (also sometimes referred to as “Land of the Mountains High”) which became the official State Song of Utah in 1937. In 2003 it was designated the official State Hymn, and a new state song was named.

Music By: Joseph Parry

Joseph Parry (21 May 1841 – 17 February 1903), was a Welsh composer and musician. Born in Merthyr TydfilWales, he is best-known as the composer of Myfanwy and Aberystwyth (a hymn tune).

The cottage at 4 Chapel Row, Merthyr Tydfil, where Parry was born, is now open to the public as a museum.[1] Parry’s family emigrated to theUnited States in 1854, when he was 13, and he became an ironworker in Danville, Pennsylvania. There was a large Welsh community there and he became involved in strengthening Welsh culture locally. When, in 1865, he was admitted to the Gorsedd at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, he took the bardic name, “Pencerdd America”.

He became a Freemason in 1867, while in Pennsylvania. His 1875 song, Ysgytwad y Llaw (The Handshake) appears to acknowledge his connection with the movement. He returned to Great Britain and studied music in London under Sir William Sterndale Bennett and at theUniversity of Cambridge.[2] In 1873 he became Professor of Music at the University of Wales.

In 1876, he joined the masonic lodge at Aberystwyth, and became their organist. His opera, Blodwen, was first performed in the town’s Temperance Hall on 21 May 1878, and was an enormous success, racking up a further 500 performances worldwide by 1896. His oratorio,Saul of Tarsus, was commissioned for the National Eisteddfod at Rhyl in 1892, and was also a major success. In about 1881, the Parry family left Aberystwyth for Swansea.

A resident of Penarth in his later years, Parry died there and is buried in St. Augustine’s Churchyard, Penarth.

He was the subject of a BBC dramatisation in 1978 entitled Off to Philadelphia in the Morning based on the book by Jack Jones, another ofMerthyr Tydfil‘s famous sons.