This German hymn was written over 300 years ago. It is loosely based on Psalms 103 and 150. It was the favorite hymn of King Frederick William III of Prussia, who first heard it in 1800.
My people are from Prussia. These are my great great grandparents, Annie and Ernest Lueck. I wonder if in their youth they ever sat in pews at church and sang this magnificent hymn of praise to God.
In 1890, Annie and Ernest left Germany with their five young children and set sail for America. Their journey was perilous and en route Ernest died and was buried at sea. Annie arrived in Galveston, a widow, with five little ones all depending on her. She spoke no English. I marvel at the challenges she must have faced. I am told she was small in frame but lively in spirit. She lived to be 85 years old. I share not only her birthday, but her name also. (Ann is my middle name.)
Fifteen years ago my sister, Julie, and I traveled to Littlefield, Texas, with our folks and left flowers on Grandma Annie's unmarked grave.
I believe that music ties the generations, both here on earth and beyond the grave. I can't help but smile as I imagine hearing the echoes of Annie’s young voice singing this very hymn in her native tongue back in Germany so many years ago. We are connected not only by blood, but through music as well.
Click HERE to download free sheet music