Hymn #42: O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing

            Charles Wesley (1707-1788) wrote this hymn on the first anniversary of his conversion to Christ, and it has repeatedly served as the opening hymn in Wesleyan hymnals throughout the centuries.  This version employs stanzas 7, 8, 9, and 1 of the original eighteen-stanza poem.

           Charles Wesley and his brother John each had a mystical experience that redirected their lives in service to Christ.  Together they published sixty-four hymn collections between 1738 and 1785.

            Carl G. Gläser (1784-1829) wrote this tune in Germany around 1839, but it was given the name AZMON (Hebrew for “fortress”) by Lowell Mason, who adapted and introduced it in the United States.  It first appeared anonymously in Mason’s Modern Psalmist (1839).

            Carl G. Gläser studied law at Leipzig University in Germany but decided to follow a profession in music instead.  Gläser later moved to Barmen, where he taught piano, violin, and voice in addition to composing and publishing music.