Saturday, 1 December 2012

How Great Thou Art and its Ukrainian origins

Carrying on my theme of December songs and music, no New Zealander cannot be touched by Howard Morrison's version of that great song "How Great Thou Art."

He weaves  his own version of Whakaaria mai into the hymn How Great Thou Art, which was written in 1886 by a Swedish pastor, Carl Boberg, after he was caught in a sudden thunderstorm while out in the countryside.

In time the hymn was translated into Russian and was learnt by Stuart Hine, a British missionary working in the Ukraine. Hine later translated it into English. An American preacher, Billy Graham made it well-known in English-speaking societies. But it was Sir Howard, that brough this great Hymn to the workers in New Zealand.

Howard sings it thus:

C Oh Lord my God, when I in F awesome wonder 
Consider C all the G7 worlds Thy hands have C made 
I see the stars, I hear the F rolling thunder 
Thy power through-C-out the G7 universe dis-C-played 

Whakaaria mai    
Tōu F rīpeka ki C au 
Ti-aho G7 mai 
Ka roto i te C pō 
Hei kona F au 
Titiro atu C ai 
Ora, ma-G7-te 
Hei au kway noho C ai

In Russian, the first language to be translated into from Swedish, it is still inspiring.  Three Ukrainian students singing "How Great Thou Art" (Velikiy Bog) during a break in English Language Learning Classes at Donesk Christian University Danny André Dixon, teacher is directing and encouraging in the background. Summer 2011

Господи Боже мой, когда я в awesome чудо 
рассмотреть все миры твоих руках сделал 
я вижу звезды, я слышу подвижного Гром 
твоей власти во всей Вселенной отображается 

затем поет душа моя, мой Спаситель Господь, к тебе 
как великие ты искусство, как Великий ты 
потом поет душа моя, Бог мой Спаситель, тебе 
как великие ты, как здорово ты! 

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