Demo with two hymnal verses, ad lib intro and bridge, and harmonized descant. Free score. 

1 hymnal (Webbe)
Hark, the glad sound! the Savior comes,
the Savior promised long:
let every heart prepare a throne,
and every voice a song.

3. satb (hymnal, Webbe)
He comes, the broken heart to bind,
the bleeding soul to cure;
and with the treasures of his grace
to enrich the humble poor.

4 descant
Our glad hosannas, Prince of Peace,
thy welcome shall proclaim;
and heaven's eternal arches ring
with thy beloved Name.


The original version of the tune we know as RICHMOND was written by Thomas Haweis in 1792, but it lives now in a shorter form - common meter - as adapted by Samuel Webbe, who also gave the tune its name. Webbe published the tune in 1808, and the current form was published in Hymns Ancient and Modern, Revised (1950).

The Advent hymn "Hark the glad sound" originally appeared with seven verses in a posthumous collection of Philip Doddridge's works, with remarkable similarities to Alexander Pope's 1712 "Hark a glad voice." In this pairing, both the tune and the hymn were improved by the reduction, perhaps proving the concept of addition by subtraction (or its corollary, less is more). Doddridge was a learned and respected dissenting (non-Anglican) minister, precentor and teacher. Four posthumous editions of his hymn texts eventually grew to include nearly 400 titles.

The Easter hymn for this tune, Christopher Smart's, "Awake, arise," is a mere sampling of the 32-verse original; the descant verse here is the fifth and final verse of its current use. A high churchman, Smart is well known for his remarkable and innovative mix of meter and thought ("For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry..."). He was involuntarily committed to an asylum when he ran afoul of an erstwhile benefactor, but he was not remotely deserving of this treatment. Such is the burden of genius. He did, however, die in debtor's prison.

Sources: The Hymnary, The Hymnal 1982 Companion (Raymond Glover, Church Publishing, Inc., 1990), and Wikipedia.

Updated: Sep, 2019, Dec 2022

Descant verse (Hark the glad sound):

Our glad Hosannas, Prince of Peace,

Thy welcome shall proclaim;

and heav'n’s eternal arches ring

with Thy beloved Name.

– Philip Doddridge, 1735

Descant verse (Awake, arise):

O Dead arise! O Friendless stand

by seraphim adored!

O Solitude again command

your host from heaven restored!

– Christopher Smart, 1722-1771

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