Eighty years ago today, composer Emma Louise Ashford died in Nashville, Tennessee. As described here two years ago, she had written about 600 works for voice, chorus, or organ. Though I have learned little more about her life, I have dug up some brief nuggets of information about some of her compositions.
She first published many of her anthems in the Choir Leader, which was a long-running monthly magazine put out by Edmund S. Lorenz for small-to-medium church choirs (his company remains in business today). A Palm Sunday anthem, Lift up your heads, is still in print, and was released on a 1960 recording by Mahalia Jackson, You'll Never Walk Alone.
In addition to the two hymn tunes that appeared in the 1905 Methodist Hymnal, I've also found a song called Christmas Bells in Triumphant Songs (1890), as well as two older gospel songs, none listed yet at the Cyber Hymnal. I also discovered a reference to her writing tunes for temperance songs, but thus far none of the temperance hymnals I've looked at has anything by Ashford.
I have already used Ashford's tune EVELYN for a few different texts, so today we have the second one from the Methodist Hymnal. This text is from the Unitarian Hymns of the Spirit (1864) which was compiled by Samuel Longfellow and Samuel Johnson, but its author remains obscure.
In every human mind we see
A temple made for Deity,
And righteous thoughts and acts declare
The Holy Spirit's presence there.
The Living God who Moses saw,
Whose pow'r revealed the ancient law,
Within the reason and the will
Makes known God's truth and goodness still.
In every age the hallowed light
Of revelation shines more bright;
Our creeds, like meteors, rise and fall;
Faith, Hope, and Love survive them all.
T. L. Harris, 19th cent.?; alt.
Tune: SUTHERLAND (L.M.)
Emma L. Ashford, 1905
Two Years Ago: More Voices Found: Emma Ashford