Rhosymedre (hymn tune)

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Rhosymedre is the name of a hymn tune written by the 19th-century Welsh Anglican priest John David Edwards. Edwards named the tune after the village of Rhosymedre in the County Borough of Wrexham, Wales, where he was the vicar from 1843 until his death in 1885.[1] The hymn tune is seven lines long, with a metrical index of It appears in a number of hymnals and is sung to a variety of words.[2]

The tune was used by Ralph Vaughan Williams as the basis of the second movement of his organ composition Three Preludes on Welsh Hymn Tunes.[3] Although best known in this original version for solo organ, it is also well known as an orchestral arrangement by Arnold Foster published in 1938. The prelude has been arranged for other instruments or combinations of instruments, including solo piano, piano duet, clarinet choir and four recorders.[3][4]

The "Prelude on the hymn tune 'Rhosymedre'" by Ralph Vaughan Williams was played at the Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales by the request of Lady Sarah McCorquodale.[5] It was also played at the weddings of her two sons: Prince William (in April 2011)[6] and Prince Harry (in May 2018).[7]

In 2008, to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Vaughan Williams, Richard Morrison (chief music critic of The Times) arranged the piece for string quartet and solo tenor. The first performance took place in May 2008, with James Gilchrist singing the words of the hymn.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Griffith, Robert David. "Edwards, John David (1805–1885), cleric and musician". Welsh Biography Online. National Library of Wales. Retrieved 1 May 2009.
  2. ^ "Rhosymedre". Calvin Hymnary Project. Retrieved 1 May 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Stainer & Bell – Ralph Vaughan Williams". Stainer and Bell. 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2009.
  4. ^ "Rhosymedre, as performed by the Marine Band Clarinet Choir". Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Music for a Princess". Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Prince William and Catherine's Royal Wedding Music". Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  7. ^ "This royal wedding playlist is perfect for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry". Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  8. ^ Humphreys, Garry (30 May 2008). "'Rhosymedre' as you've never heard it before". Church Times. Retrieved 1 May 2009.