Thine be the glory, Risen, conqu’ring Son Endless is the vict’ry Thou o’er death hast won!
The composer of this well-known Easter-triumphant shout of a hymn is much better known than the lyricist – the tune, Judas Maccabeus, is by George Frideric Handel (1685 – 1759). Strangely Handel only wrote three hymn tunes, and of those this is the only one still commonly sung, almost always with these words.
With his German-English background, it seems obvious that Handel’s music should be paired with words by a French-Swiss writer born nearly a century after his own death. Edmond Louis Budry (1854 – 1932) was born in Vevey and after studying in Lausanne he returned eventually to Vevey as pastor of the Free Church, retiring in 1923 after 35 years’ service. He was a translator of hymns from German, Latin and English into French, but also wrote his own hymns, including this one, ‘A Toi la Gloire’.
However, it was left to an English Baptist minister and professor of theology to translate this hymn into English (though versions vary slightly). Richard Birch Hoyle (1875 – 1939) was a pastor in Sudbury, London and Aberdeen (he lived at 14, Hosefield Avenue with his wife and three children in 1911, so he would have been in our area!), edited the YMCA’s magazine and taught in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania before returning to Surrey for the rest of his career.