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My Song is Love Unknown

  • Instrumentation: Unison voices or Mixed voices in up to four parts & Organ. 

  • Duration - 2:29

  • Text: Samuel Crossman (1623-1684)

  • Performance ready in one to two rehearsals.


Program Note


This piece is one in a series of familiar hymn tunes set with a contemporary harmonic palette, and presented so as to be performable by choirs of all levels with very little rehearsal time.  

The form of this hymn has always intrigued me. The first statement is answered by phrase twice its length; it turns introspective and the meter hiccups for half a phrase, then the final statement rhymes in character with the first.  It is what modern hymnals would categorize as an "irregular" hymn. Delightful.

The familiar tune LOVE UNKNOWN, set here with the gracious permission of the John Ireland Trust, captures all the twists and turns of this Holy Week text in fourteen measures, adding a beat and a flat for the two measures that look inward. I have added a few more flats at opportune points to capture the wild shifts in mood, but have left Ireland's perfect metering intact.  

love unknown.jpeg
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