They say that composer John Ireland (1879 - 1962) wrote the hymn tune to My Song is Love Unknown in the span of fifteen minutes over lunch with a friend. It's probably not likely that we'd even know the hymn text, written by Samuel Crossman in 1664, if it weren't for the melody that was the result of Ireland's lunch with that friend. But then there's always George Herbert, whose poem "Love Unknown" was undoubtedly an inspiration for Crossman's text; Crossman couldn't have written My Song Is Love Unknown before reading Love Unknown, published by Herbert in 1663. And so...
So it's a trinity. Herbert writes the poems, Crossman refashions the poems as song (or sermon?) and then more than a hundred years later Ireland sets it all to a hymn. And just yesterday, on October 29, 2016 our music director, Justin Boyer, expertly played Ireland's tune on the piano while our choirs beautifully sang the hymn text Crossman wrote as inspired by Herbert and... we cried... "Here might I stay and sing, no story so divine: never was love, dear King, never was grief like thine, this is my friend, in whose sweet praise I all my days could gladly spend."
Thanks be to God.
Happy Monday. Thank you Choirs, thank you Justin, thank you George Herbert, Samuel Crossman and John Ireland. Thank you church.