Joseph David Jones (1827 – 17 September 1870) was a Welsh composer and schoolmaster, commonly known as J. D. Jones. He was the father of the politician and industrialist Sir Henry Haydn Jones and the renowned Congregationalist minister, John Daniel Jones (1865-1942).
Jones’ parents were so poor they could only give him a year’s schooling. Therefore he spent his boyhood learning all he could about music. Before he was 20 years old, he published a few psalm tunes under the title Y Perganiedydd (The Sweet Singer). From this effort he earned sufficient funds to attend college in London. He is also remembered as a singing teacher at Rhuthyn.
One of his most famous hymn tunes is the one heard here - "Gwalchmai." I hadn't heard or even thought of this for years, and it was a pleasure to play it!
The text is by Charles Wesley (1707-1788). He was the great hymn-writer of the Wesley family, perhaps, taking quantity and quality into consideration, the great hymn-writer of all ages. Charles Wesley was the youngest son and 18th child of Samuel and Susanna Wesley, and was born at Epworth Rectory, Dec. 18, 1707. In 1716 he went to Westminster School, being provided with a home and board by his elder brother Samuel, then usher at the school, until 1721, when he was elected King's Scholar, and as such received his board and education free. In 1726 Charles Wesley was elected to a Westminster studentship at Christ Church, Oxford, where he took his degree in 1729, and became a college tutor. In the early part of the same year his religious impressions were much deepened, and he became one of the first band of "Oxford Methodists."
As I was doing this, it struck just how much this text "resembles" "Hark! the herald-angels sing!"
It's all about the joining of earth and heaven, the call and the response.
The score is attached below, as well as photos of Joseph Jones and Charles Wesley.
The full text is given in the First Comment.
A VERY HAPPY EASTER TO ALL!!!