Modern Setting (Tune) of William Gadsby's Hymn
"Immortal Honours Rest on Jesu's Head

The Diodorus Siculus, Library of History (4.61.5) tells us:
He [Theseus] carried off Ariadne [from Krete] and sailed out unobserved during the night, after which he put in at the island which at that time was called Dia, but is now called Naxos. At this same time, the myths relate, Dionysos showed himself on the island, and because of the beauty of Ariadne he took the maiden away from Theseus and kept her as his lawful wife, loving her exceedingly. Indeed, after her death he considered her worthy of immortal honours because of the affection he had for her, and placed among the stars of heaven the 'Crown of Ariadne'".

William Gadsby, however, tells us to whom immortal honours really belong.

1. Immortal honours rest on Jesu's head,
my God, my portion and my living bread;
in him I live, upon him cast my care;
he saves from death, destruction and despair.
2. He is my refuge in each deep distress,
the Lord my strength and glorious righteousness;
through floods and flames he leads me safely on
and daily makes his sovereign goodness known.
3. My every need he richly will supply,
nor will his mercy ever let me die;
in him there dwells a treasure all divine
and matchless grace has made that treasure mine.
4. O that my soul could love and praise him more,
his beauties trace, his majesty adore,
live near his heart, upon his bosom lean,
obey his voice and all his will esteem.
William Gadsby (altd.)
1773 - 1844

The common tune, Huntingdon (S. Wellens), is profound when sung in four voices, and without accompaniment such as piano or organ. Indeed, congregations that only sing the soprano part with accompaniment will not share Huntingdon's sense of pent-up joy.

More particularly, congregations that have accompaniment in the form of guitars and "music groups" are likely never to sing 'Immortal Honours', because the four vocal parts of Huntingdon are not easily adapted for such instrumental combinations. In order to make sure that Gadsby's wonderful words are not lost to modern congregations, the following setting is offered freely.

Here is the modern, but metrical setting for piano of 'Ashford' (with guitar chords) Feel free to download it and use it, but do not alter it. Copyright David W. Legg 2005.

PDF version of immortal honours
PDF version for printing.
MIDI version of immortal honours
MIDI version to download and
listen to using a MIDI player.
Rosegarden 4 version of immortal honours
Rosegarden 4 version for getting
alternative prints from.
5 stave MIDI version of immortal honours
5 stave MIDI file for flute, piano,
bass etc.

Slightly more modern words are available in the Praise Hymnal. Tediously, these are copyright.

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