All Good Gifts (We plough the fields and scatter) - We Thank Thee o Father

This is a hymn of thanksgiving for the harvest. It is based on the German-language hymn, Im Anfang war's auf Erden, which was written by Lutheran poet, theologian and editor Matthias Claudius (1740-1815) in 1782.

It was freely translated to English by minister's daughter and author Jane M. Campbell (1817-1878), and originally called "Thanksgiving for the Harvest." She also reduced the original 17 verses to three.

With meter D with refrain, tunes it is set to include:
  • WIR PFLÜGEN - the original setting, published anonymously in 1800, but credited to Johann A. P. Schulz in Jungenfreund (1812) - and still used when this is sung as a hymn in church settings
  • a folk-ballad setting by Duane Bolick, in the musical Godspell
  • a rock setting by Steven Schwartz, also in the musical Godspell


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Godspell tune

Traditonal hymn


Congregation / choir with small orchestra - recorded in a televised church service:

Choir performance with organ / piano:

Ballad setting from the original Godspell score:

Folksong-version from Godspell:

Choir, unaccompanied:

Soloist and band - professional recording of the version from Godspell:

Unaccompanied shape-note choir:

Choir with organ:

Instrumental - organ:


We plough the fields and scatter(*)
The good seed on the land,
But it is fed and watered
By God's almighty hand;
He sends the snow in winter,
The warmth to swell the grain,
The breezes and the sunshine,
And soft refreshing rain.

(*)  OR   We plough the fields for sowing

All good gifts around us
Are sent from heaven above;
Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord
For all his love.

He only is the Maker
Of all things near and far;
He paints the wayside flower,
He lights the evening star;
The wind and waves obey him,
By him the birds are fed;
Much more to us, his children,
He gives our daily bread.

We thank thee, then, O Father,
For all things bright and good,
The seed-time and the harvest,
Our life, our health, our food.
Accept the gifts we offer
For all your love imparts,
With what we know you long for:
Our humble, thankful hearts.

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