Fanny Alexander

Harvest window

It was on this day in 1895 that Cecil Frances (Fanny) Alexander died, writer of “All things bright and beautiful” and other popular hymns including “There is a green hill far away” and “Once in royal David’s city”. She wrote “All things bright and beautiful”, which is now sung so often at baptisms, weddings and funerals, when she was about 25, but already her intention of making the teaching of the Church for children, through catechism and creeds, a little more interesting, and - as we would say today - accessible. Hence her hymn on creation, based on “maker of heaven and earth” became “All things bright and beautiful”, but also, from “suffered under Pontius Pilate” we got “There is a green hill far away”. Guess what she used for “Once in Royal David’s City”?

She was really rather brilliant, wasn’t she?

John Mann