The Fishermen / They Cast Their Nets in Galilee

This hymn about Jesus calling the fishermen was written by French-American Roman Catholic lawyer, planter, and poet William Alexander Percy (1885–1942). 

It was originally published under the title "His Peace" in the collection Enzio's Kingdom and Other Poems (1924), with a slightly different beginning (ref).

With meter, tunes it is set to include:
  • GEORGETOWN (Williams) - written for the text by Welsh-American church musician and composer David McKliney Williams (1887-1978) to include in The Hymnal 1940, which Williams edited.
  • PEACE OF GOD by Herbert G. Draesel Jr (b 1940).
  • FISHERFOLK by Bertty Pulkingham - included in Cry Hosanna, 1980 (link coming soon).

These dates mean that the words are now public domain in countries where copyright is based on the author's year of death plus 70 years, but not necessarily in other countries.  None of the tunes are currently in the public domain.


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Choir and congregation with organ:

Lead singer and folk band - tune FISHERFOLK

Solo singer with guitar, unidentified tune:

Solo singer with guitar, tune FISHERFOLK

Small choir, concert performance, unidentified tune:

Instrumental - piano. Tune GEORGETOWN


They cast their nets in Galilee
Just off the hills of brown;
Such happy, simple fisher-folk,
Before the Lord came down.

Contented, peaceful fisherfolk,
Before they ever knew
The peace of God that filled their hearts
Brim-full, 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, Christians(*), pray for but one thing--
The marvellous peace of God.

(*) the original text is "peaceful fishermen"
(**) the original text is "Yet, brothers, pray ..."

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