then continues with the words that appear in our hymnal.
The tune which our hymnal uses with "They cast their nets in Galilee" was written by David McKinley Williams (1887-1978). He was born in Wales but spent his career as a composer, organist, and teacher in the United States. During World War I he served in the Royal Canadian Artillery. From 1921 to 1947 he was organist and choirmaster at St. Bartholomew's Church in New York City, where he developed one of the finest music programs in the country. He was also the head of the organ department at Juilliard School of Music. He was a member of the commission that produced
The Hymnal 1940
, the predecessor of
The Hymnal 1982
GEORGETOWN is the name of the tune for "They cast their nets in Galilee." The composer was a friend of Francis Bland Tucker, who was the rector of St. John's Episcopal Church, Georgetown, Washington, D.C. when Williams wrote the tune in 1941.
Just a footnote: Even though it was a couple months ago that we chose "They cast their nets in Galilee" for this Sunday, it was only on Tuesday that I researched the hymn. Maybe it is a divine coincidence that we are singing this hymn the day after the 75th
anniversary of hymn writer William Alexander Percy's death, January 21.
They cast their nets in Galilee just off the hills of brown;
Such happy, simple fisherfolk, before the Lord came down.
Contented, peaceful fishermen, before they ever knew
The peace of God that filled their hearts brimful, and broke them too.
Young John who trimmed the flapping sail, homeless, in Patmos died.
Peter, who hauled the teeming net, head-down was crucified.
The peace of God, it is no peace, but strife closed in the sod.
Yet let us pray for but one thing-the marvelous peace of God.