Hymn #23: There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy
IN BABILONE is the name of this anonymous Dutch tune, which was first transcribed for a 1710 collection of folk melodies. It was first used as a hymn tune in 1910, when Ralph Vaughan Williams paired it was “See the Conqueror Mounts in Triumph,” an Ascension hymn.
Julius Röntgen (1855-1932), a renowned Dutch musician, composer, and director was asked to harmonize this simple tune for Vaughan Williams’s 1906 English Hymnal. Röntgen lived his life in Amsterdam, where he held positions at the Amsterdam Conservatory and Society for the Advancement of Musical Art.