Hail to the Lord's Anointed

This is a hymn for Advent / Epiphany, which also has strong social justice / concern themes.  The words are based on Psalm 72.

It was written by Scottish-born, later English-resident, Morovian-church member, hymn writer, poet and newspaper editor, James Montgomery (1771-1854)., and  first published in 1821 as a Christmas hymn.

With meter D, tunes it is set to include:
  • CRÜGER by German composer Johann Crüger (1598-1662)
  • ELLACOMBE from Gesangbuch der herzogl. wirtembergischen katholischen Hofkapelle (Württemberg, 1784, adapted by English organist William H. Monk (1823-1889)
  • ES FLOG EIN KLEINS WALDVOGELEIN - a 17th century German folk tune, harmonized by George Ratcliffe Woodward, 1904
  • WEBB aka MORNING LIGHT, by English composer George J. Webb (1803-1887) 
  • SHEFFIELD aka BRITISH GRENADIERS - a 17th century English tune, composer unknown
  • MOVILLE - traditional Irish / Scottish

As with many hymns of this age and length, it as been published many times, with editors selecting different verses to leave out.


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Singer with piano, words on-screen, professional recording:

Choir with brass band, words on-screen, professional recording:

Small choir with piano:

Contemporary arrangement - singer with band:

Small group with piano and guitar:

Instrumental - piano, with words on-screen:


Hail to the Lord’s anointed!
Great David’s greater Son;
Hail in the time appointed,
His reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression,
To set the captive free;
To take away transgression,
And rule in equity.

He comes, with succor speedy
To those who suffer wrong;
To help the poor and needy,
And bid the weak be strong;
To give them songs for sighing,
Their darkness turn to light,
Whose souls, condemned and dying,
Were precious in His sight.

By such shall He be feared
While sun and moon endure;
Beloved, obeyed, revered;
For He shall judge the poor,
Through changing generations,
With justice, mercy, truth;
While stars maintain their stations,
Or moons renew their youth.

He shall come down, like showers
Upon the fruitful earth,
And love, joy, hope, like flowers,
Spring in His path to birth:
Before Him, on the mountains,
Shall Peace, the herald, go,
And righteousness in fountains,
From hill to valley flow.

Arabia’s desert ranger
To Him shall bow the knee;
The Ethiopian stranger
His glory come to see;
With offerings of devotion,
Ships from the isles shall meet,
To pour the wealth of ocean
In tribute at His feet.

Kings shall fall down before Him,
And gold and incense bring;
All nations shall adore Him,
His praise all people sing;
For He shall have dominion
O’er river, sea and shore,
Far as the eagle’s pinion
Or dove’s light wing can soar.

For Him shall prayer unceasing
And daily vows ascend;
His kingdom still increasing,
A kingdom without end:
The mountain dews shall nourish
A seed in weakness sown,
Whose fruit shall spread and flourish
And shake like Lebanon.

O’er every foe victorious,
He on His throne shall rest;
From age to age more glorious,
All blessing and all blest.
The tide of time shall never
His covenant remove;
His name shall stand forever,
His name to us is Love.

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