Hymn #82: Go, My Children, with My Blessing

            Jaroslav Jan Vajda (b. 1919) wrote this text in 1983 for Concordia Publishing, which was seeking an alternative to the hymn “God Who Made the Earth and Heaven,” traditionally sung with this popular Welsh tune.  Vajda conceived of the text as a “hymn of dismissal” by God.

           Jaroslav J. Vajda was born in Lorain, Ohio, on April 28, 1919.  He began his education for the ministry at age thirteen at Concordia College in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Vajda has translated over one hundred Slovak and Czech poems, along with parts of Slovakia’s classic literature.

           This traditional Welsh melody is named AR HYD Y NOS, which means “The Livelong Night.” The tune was first printed by Edward Jones in Musical Relicks of the Welsh Bards (1784) in Dublin, Ireland.  There it was scored for solo voice, chorus, and harp.

           This Welsh ballad by an unknown composer was traditionally sung with the secular texts “The Livelong Night” in Welsh and “Here Beneath a Willow, Weepeth Poor Mary Anne” in English.  It made its appearance as a hymn tune in the United States when it was printed in The Christian Lyre (1831).