Great King of Gods (Orlando Gibbons)

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Great King of Gods

  • (Posted 2011-06-01)  CPDL #23631:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2011-06-01).   Score information: A4, 9 pages, 103 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: This is a reformatting of #7163, with some minor changes to barring.
  • (Posted 2004-06-08)  CPDL #07163:     
Editor: Michael Gibson (submitted 2004-06-08).   Score information: A4, 10 pages, 436 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Includes a organ version of the original viol consort accompaniment.

Great Lord of Lords

  • (Posted 2011-06-01)  CPDL #23632:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2011-06-01).   Score information: A4, 9 pages, 104 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: This version has the later Henry Ramsden Bramley lyrics.

General Information

Title: Great King of Gods
Composer: Orlando Gibbons
Lyricist: Henry Ramsden Bramley

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SAATB, with AAB solos
Genre: SacredAnthemVerse anthem

Language: English
Instruments: Viol consort
. CPDL #7163 has an editorial organ reduction.
First published:
Description: "This anthem was made for the King's being in Scotland [1617]." This verse anthem was later re-worked to the words 'Great Lord of Lords' from this ode specially composed for the marriage of King Charles I in May 1625, an event which, sadly, Gibbons did not live much beyond, dying on 5th June, aged 42.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Great King of Gods, whose gracious hand hath led
Our sacred sovereign head
Unto the place where first our bliss was bred:
O send thine angels to his blessed side,
And bid them there abide,
To be at once his guardian and his guide.
Dear be his life, all glorious be his days,
And prospering all his ways.
Late add thy last crown to his peace and praise,
And when he hath outlived the world’s long date,
Let thy last change translate
His living flesh to thy celestial state.

The text of the later 'Great Lord of Lords' (which can be substituted without too many underlay problems) is as follows:
1. Great Lord of Lords, supreme immortal King,
O give us grace to sing thy praise,
which makes earth, air and heav'n to ring. (Repeat Full)

2. O word of God from ages unbegun,
the Father's only Son, with Him in pow'r, in substance,
with him in pow'r, in substance Thou art One. (Repeat Full)

3. O Holy Ghost, whose care doth all embrace,
Thy watch is o'er our race, Thou source of life,
Thou spring of peace and grace, Thou source of life,
[Thou spring of peace and grace, source of life,][omit from A2 solo]
Thou spring of peace and grace. (Repeat Full)

4. One living Trinity, one unseen light, The earth is Thine,
Thy light beholds alike the bounds of depth and height,
[the bounds] of depth and height.[omit from A1 solo] (Repeat Full)