Hymn #329: Jesus, the Joy of Living Hearts

Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) has previously been credited with the long Latin poem from which this hymn was taken, beginning "Jesu dulcis memoria," but his authorship is dubious.  The oldest manuscript, dating from the twelfth century, may be seen in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University.


Ray Palmer (1808-1887) selected and translated cantos from a twelfth-century Latin poem, and the resulting hymn was published in The Sabbath Hymn Book (1859).  A graduate of Yale University, Palmer served Congregational churches in Maine and New York and later was corresponding secretary of the American Congregational Union.

Henry Williams Baker (1821-1877) composed the tune HESPERUS (also known as QUEBEC, among other names) in 1854 when he was a student at Oxford University.  His tune was submitted anonymously to the London Penny Post in 1861 when the newspaper was searching for a tune to accompany "Sun of My Soul."


Henry W. Baker served only one church in his career, at Monkland, near Leominster, England.  He was ordained into the Anglican Church in 1844 after completing his education at Trinity College, Cambridge.  Baker wrote hymn texts and translations in addition to musical settings.