"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. It did not appear as a hymn-tune called "Thaxted" until his friend Ralph Vaughan Williams included it in Songs of Praise in 1926.
Hymns written to the tune
- "I Vow to Thee, My Country" – Cecil Spring Rice, 1921. This setting was sung at the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales in 1981 and again at the latter's funeral in 1997, and the funeral of Margaret Thatcher in 2013.
- "O Merciful Redeemer" – Frances Ridley Havergal, an obscure version of the lyrics which reminds many Catholics of Saint Faustina and the Divine Mercy devotion.
- "We Pledge To One Another" – Jill Jenkins
- "Building The Kingdom" – Jo Kenderes
- "O God Beyond All Praising" – Michael Perry, 1982.
- "O Spirit All-Embracing" – Delores Dufner, OSB, 2001
- "As the Bread of Life Is Broken" – James Chepponis, 2002
- "Let David Be Remembered" – Martin E. Leckebusch, 2003
- "We Praise You and Acknowledge You, O God" – a paraphrase of the Te Deum Laudamus by Stephen P. Starke in the 2006 Lutheran Service Book
- "Let Streams of Living Justice" – William Whitla, in Canadian Anglican hymnal Common Praise, 1989
- "Three Days" – M.D. Ridge, 2003
- "From Penola's Plains" – Australian hymn in honour of Mary MacKillop – Michael Herry and Geoffrey Cox, 2010
- "O God, Show Mercy to Us" – a setting of Psalm 67 in the Reformed Presbyterian Church's Book of Psalms for Worship.
- "The Iron Rod" – a setting by Bob Galbraith of a popular hymn of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, based on 1 Nephi chapter 11 of the Book of Mormon. It was first performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during the 175th Semiannual General Conference in 2005.
- "The Answer" – song with lyrics by Corrinne May, which appears on her fourth album, The Gift.
- "For the Splendor of Creation" – arranged by Jameson Marvin for the Harvard University Commencement Choir
- "May you our Center Be" – school hymn/anthem of St Patrick's College, Sutherland
- "Jerusalem the Golden" – Hymn for Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS)
- "Sign of Faith" – St Joseph's Nudgee College school song
- "Virtute et Labore" – school song for St Margaret's School (Berwick, Victoria, Australia)
- "Hymn to St. Anselm" – school hymn of St. Anselm's Abbey School (Washington, D.C., United States of America)
- "To Thee O Gracious Father" – by The Rev Christopher Phillips, Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, San Antonio, Texas, 1990
- "Jesus, The Man of Wonders" – N.A. Burgess, 2013
Secular songs written to the tune include:
- "In the Quest for Understanding" – sesquicentennial anthem for Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin
- "World in Union" – the anthem of the Rugby World Cup with lyrics by Charlie Skarbek, introduced at the 1991 edition and sung at that time by Dame Kiri te Kanawa, and again for every subsequent tournament by different artists including, in 2011, Hayley Westenra.
- The alma mater of Flower Mound High School in Flower Mound, Texas is set to the tune of Thaxted.
- The alma mater of Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio, Texas is set to the tune of Thaxted.
- The alma mater of Westwood High School in Austin, Texas is set to the tune of Thaxted.
- The alma mater of Wesley College in Melbourne, Victoria is set to the tune of Thaxted entitled "All of Us are One".
- The noise rock band Harvey Milk used Thaxted as a section in their song "The Anvil Will Fall".
- English folk trio Kerr Fagan Harbron used Thaxted as an introduction to the song "Leaving Old England".
- The Swedish extreme metal band Bathory used Thaxted as the basis for the song "Hammerheart" on the album Twilight of the Gods
- 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", 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".
Commercial uses include:
- Japanese singer Ayaka Hirahara released a pop version of Jupiter in December 2003. It went to No. 2 on the Oricon charts and sold nearly a million copies, making it the third-best-selling single in the Japanese popular music market for 2004. It remained on the charts for over three years.
- Sarah Brightman has recorded a song "Running" in 2007. It was the theme song for the IAAF Championships; she performed it at the opening ceremony in Osaka.
- Maddy Prior includes the tune in two pieces of her 2003 album Lionhearts.
- 94 WIP, a radio station in Philadelphia, began using the tune as part of a Philadelphia Phillies radio commercial in 2014.
- Holst, Imogen (1974). A Thematic Catalogue of Gustav Holst's Music. Faber. p. 145. ISBN 978-0571100040.
- Vaughan Williams, Ralph; Shaw, Martin; Dearmer, Percy, eds. (1926). Songs of Praise. Oxford University Press.
- "The order of service for the funeral of Baroness Thatcher". Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- "O Merciful Redeemer". Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- "We Pledge To One Another". Retrieved 19 November 2015.
- "O God Beyond All Praising". Retrieved 1 July 2008.
- "O Spirit All-Embracing". GIA Publications. Retrieved 28 May 2009.
- "As the Bread of Life Is Broken". Retrieved 12 August 2015.
- "Let David Be Remembered (Psalm 132)". Hymnary.org.
- "We Praise You and Acknowledge You, O God". Starke, Stephen P. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
- "Resources for Study, Reflection and Prayer". Anglican Church of Canada. Archived from the original on 23 November 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2009.
- "Three Days". OCP. Retrieved 16 February 2009.
- "From Penola's Plains". Marist Melbourne. Archived from the original on 13 September 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
- "Conference Summary for the 175th Semiannual General Conference".
- "Shawnee Press, For the Splendor of Creation" (PDF). Retrieved 27 May 2010.[permanent dead link]
- "Article in Forward In Christ". Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "Hymn sung at beginning of video". Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- "Jesus, The Man Of Wonders". Three Legged Music Limited. Retrieved 16 October 2020.
- "Lawrence University: College Songs of Past and Present". Archived from the original on 6 March 2001. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
- 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.
- 平原綾香 (Hirahara Ayaka) at last.fm (in English)
- "Lionhearts track listing at allmusic.com". Retrieved 19 November 2015.