Thaxted (tune)

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The Manse in Thaxted, where Gustav Holst lived from 1917 to 1925

"Thaxted" is a hymn tune by the English composer Gustav Holst, based on the stately theme from the middle section of the Jupiter movement of his orchestral suite The Planets and named after Thaxted, the English village where he lived much of his life. He adapted the theme in 1921 to fit the patriotic poem "I Vow to Thee, My Country" by Cecil Spring Rice but that was as a unison song with orchestra.[1] It did not appear as a hymn-tune called "Thaxted" until his friend Ralph Vaughan Williams included it in Songs of Praise in 1926.[2]

The tune[edit]

\relative f' { \time 3/4 \key c \major \partial 4 e8( g) a4. c8 b8. g16 c8( d) c4 b a8 b a4 g e2 e8( g) a4. c8 b8. g16 c8( d) e4 e e8( d) c4 d c2}

Hymns written to the tune[edit]

Many Christian hymns have been written to the tune. Notable ones include:

Other uses[edit]

The tune has been played at various major events:

Secular songs written to the tune include:

Other uses of the melody include:

  • 94 WIP, a radio station in Philadelphia, began using the tune as part of a Philadelphia Phillies radio commercial in 2014.
  • The credits theme for the 2001 Sega video game Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Force is a version of the Thaxted melody, arranged by series composer Kentaro Kobayashi.[12][13]
  • The hymn formed the basis of the theme of the English civilization in the video game Civilization V.
  • It is included on the soundtrack from the 2018 video game Battlefield V.[14]
  • As the musical theme in the episode 'Sleepytime' in the children's program Bluey.

A literary reference appears in "The Adventure of the Lost World",[15] a Sherlock Holmes pastiche written by Dominic Green, where the tune is a major plot element, though the story contains a chronological error in that its Autumn 1918 setting would pre-date the publishing of the tune under the name "Thaxted".


  1. ^ Holst, Imogen (1974). A Thematic Catalogue of Gustav Holst's Music. Faber. p. 145. ISBN 978-0571100040.
  2. ^ Vaughan Williams, Ralph; Shaw, Martin; Dearmer, Percy, eds. (1926). Songs of Praise. Oxford University Press.
  3. ^ "The order of service for the funeral of Baroness Thatcher". Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  4. ^ "O God Beyond All Praising". Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  5. ^ "We Praise You and Acknowledge You, O God". Starke, Stephen P. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
  6. ^ "The Iron Rod" set to the music of Thaxted / Jupiter by Holst, archived from the original on 22 January 2020, retrieved 30 September 2021
  7. ^ "I Vow to Thee, My Country". C-SPAN. 3 September 2018. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  8. ^ "The meanings behind the songs Prince Philip chose for his funeral". ITV News. 17 April 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  9. ^ "Lawrence University: College Songs of Past and Present". Archived from the original on 6 March 2001. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  10. ^ 平原綾香 (Hirahara Ayaka) at (in English)
  11. ^ "Lionhearts track listing at". Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  12. ^ "Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Force soundtrack credits".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ "Kentaro Kobayashi's Jupiter arrangement from Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Force". Archived from the original on 14 December 2021.
  14. ^ "Battlefield V soundtrack". Soundtrack.Net. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  15. ^ originally published 2004 online in BBCi Cult Sherlock Holmes Magazine, and reprinted in The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, ed. John Joseph Adams. San Francisco: Night Shade Books (ISBN 978-1597801607), 2009.

External links[edit]