Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Hymns and Hymnwriters of Denmark   By: (1877-1970)

Book cover

First Page:

Hymns and Hymnwriters of Denmark


Published by The Committee on Publication of the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Des Moines, Ia. 1945

Copyright 1945 The Danish Ev. Luth. Church In America

Printed in Lutheran Publishing House Blair, Nebr.


This book deals with a subject which is new to most English readers. For though Danish hymnody long ago became favorably known in Northern Europe, no adequate presentation of the subject has appeared in English. Newer American Lutheran hymnals contain a number of Danish hymns, some of which have gained considerable popularity, but the subject as a whole has not been presented.

A hymn is a child both of its author and of the time in which he lived. A proper knowledge of the writer and the age that gave it birth will enhance our understanding both of the hymn and of the spiritual movement it represents. No other branches of literature furnish a more illuminating index to the inner life of Christendom than the great lyrics of the Church. Henry Ward Beecher said truly: "He who knows the way that hymns flowed, knows where the blood of true piety ran, and can trace its veins and arteries to its very heart."

Aside from whatever value they may have in themselves, the hymns presented on the following pages therefore should convey an impression of the main currents within the Danish church, and the men that helped to create them.

The names of Kingo, Brorson and Grundtvig are known to many, but so far no biographies of these men except of the sketchiest kind have appeared in English. It is hoped that the fairly comprehensive presentation of their life and work in the following pages may fill a timely need.

In selecting the hymns care has been taken to choose those that are most characteristic of their authors, their times and the movements out of which they were born. While the translator has sought to produce faithfully the metre, poetry and sentiment of the originals, he has attempted no slavishly literal reproduction. Many of the finest Danish hymns are frankly lyrical, a fact which greatly increases the difficulty of translation. But while the writer is conscious that his translations at times fail to reproduce the full beauty of the originals, he still hopes that they may convey a fair impression of these and constitute a not unworthy contribution to American hymnody.

An examination of any standard American church hymnal will prove that American church song has been greatly enriched by transplantations of hymns from many lands and languages. If the following contribution from a heretofore meagerly represented branch of hymnody adds even a little to that enrichment, the writer will feel amply rewarded for the many hours of concentrated labor he has spent upon it.

Most of the translations are by the writer himself. When translations by others have been used, credit has been given to them except where only parts of a hymn have been presented.

Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 21st, 1944.


Chapter Page Table of Contents 7 I Early Danish Hymnody 9 II Reformation Hymnody 11 III Kingo's Childhood and Youth 21 IV Kingo, the Hymnwriter 31 V Kingo's Psalmbook 41 VI Kingo's Church Hymns 44 VII Kingo's Later Years 51 VIII Brorson's Childhood and Youth 59 IX Brorson, the Singer of Pietism 65 X Brorson's Swan Song 84 XI Grundtvig's Early Years 93 XII The Lonely Defender of the Bible 103 XIII The Living Word 112 XIV Grundtvig, the Hymnwriter 121 XV Grundtvig's Hymns 128 XVI Grundtvig's Later Years 150 XVII Other Danish Hymnwriters 161

Chapter One Early Danish Hymnody

Danish hymnody, like that of other Protestant countries, is largely a child of the Reformation... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books