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Sacred Singing Group: School & Church Favourites

During the 1950s, singing in school assemblies was a common practice. Teachers often played the piano and led students in singing a variety of songs.

Some of the songs that were sung during this time included:

  • Greensleeves

  • Green Grow the Rushes

  • A frog he would a wooing gob (Hey-ho said Roly)

  • On Yonder Hill there stands a Maiden (Oh, no John, no John, no John no!)

  • Oh there was a little drummer and he loved a one-eyed cook…with her one eye on the pot and the other up the chimney, with a bow wow wow…

  • The oak and the ash (and the bonny ivy tree)

  • Cockles and Muscles (alive alive oh!)

  • The Minstrel Boy

  • Early One Morning

  • D’ye ken John Peel

  • Over the sea to Skye

These are just a few examples of the songs that were commonly sung during school assemblies in the 1950s. Many of these songs were part of a standard collection used in schools across the country.

It’s worth noting that school assemblies during this time were often an opportunity for students to sing hymns as well. These hymns were typically sung in four parts: sopranos, altos, tenors, and basses. Accompanied by a school grand piano, students would come together to sing hymns and carols during special occasions such as Christmas.

Some of the hymns that were sung in school assemblies during the 1950s include:

  • All Things Bright and Beautiful

  • Morning Has Broken

  • The Lord’s My Shepherd

  • Jerusalem

  • Abide with Me

  • Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer

  • Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

  • Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven

Join our Senior’s Sacred Singing Group at Stalybridge Music Academy and relive the songs you remember from Church or Assembly. We will be singing

Morning Has Broken

This is a Christian hymn first published in 1931. It has words by English author Eleanor Farjeon and was inspired by the village of Alfriston in East Sussex, then set to a traditional Scottish Gaelic tune, "Bunessan". It is often sung in children's services

All Things Bright and Beautiful

"All Things Bright and Beautiful" is an Anglican hymn, also sung in many other Christian denominations. The words are by Cecil Frances Alexander and were first published in her Hymns for Little Children of 1848. The hymn is commonly sung to the hymn tune All Things Bright And Beautiful, composed by William Henry Monk in 1887. Another popular tune is Royal Oak, adapted from a 17th-century English folk tune, "The 29th of May".

Amazing Grace

"Amazing Grace" is a Christian hymn published in 1779 with words written in 1772 by English Anglican clergyman and poet John Newton (1725–1807). It is an immensely popular hymn, particularly in the United States, where it is used for both religious and secular purposes. Newton wrote the words from personal experience; he grew up without any particular religious conviction, but his life's path was formed by a variety of twists and coincidences that were often put into motion by others' reactions to what they took as his recalcitrant insubordination. He was pressed into service with the Royal Navy, and after leaving the service, he became involved in the Atlantic slave trade. In 1748, a violent storm battered his vessel off the coast of County Donegal, Ireland, so severely that he called out to God for mercy. While this moment marked his spiritual conversion, he continued slave trading until 1754 or 1755, when he ended his seafaring altogether. Newton began studying Christian theology and later became an abolitionist.


"And did those feet in ancient time" is a poem by William Blake from the preface to his epic Milton: A Poem in Two Books, one of a collection of writings known as the Prophetic Books. The date of 1804 on the title page is probably when the plates were begun, but the poem was printed c. 1808. Today it is best known as the hymn "Jerusalem", with music written by Sir Hubert Parry in 1916. The famous orchestration was written by Sir Edward Elgar. It is not to be confused with another poem, much longer and larger in scope and also by Blake, called Jerusalem The Emanation of the Giant Albion.

How Great Thou Art has been changed to Jerusalem due to copyright permissions.

Be Thou My Vision

"Be Thou My Vision" (Old Irish: Rop tú mo baile or Rob tú mo bhoile) is a traditional Christian hymn of Irish origin. The words are based on a Middle Irish poem that has traditionally been attributed to Dallán Forgaill.

The best-known English version, with some minor variations, was translated in 1905 by Mary Elizabeth Byrne, then made into verse by Eleanor Hull and published in 1912. Since 1919 it has been commonly sung to an Irish folk tune, noted as "Slane" in church hymnals, and is one of the most popular hymns in the United Kingdom.

Great is the Faithfulness

Great Is Thy Faithfulness is a popular Christian hymn written by Thomas Chisholm (1866–1960) with music composed by William M. Runyan (1870–1957) in Baldwin City, Kansas, U.S. The phrase "great is thy faithfulness" comes from the Old Testament Book of Lamentations 3:23. These exact words occur in both the King James Bible and the Revised Standard Version.

Abide with Me

"Abide with Me" is a Christian hymn by Scottish Anglican cleric Henry Francis Lyte. A prayer for God to stay with the speaker throughout life and in death, it was written by Lyte in 1847 as he was dying from tuberculosis. It is most often sung to the tune "Eventide" by the English organist William Henry Monk. The author of the hymn, Henry Francis Lyte, was an Anglican cleric. He was a curate in County Wexford from 1815 to 1818. According to a plaque erected in his memory in Taghmon Church, he preached frequently in Killurin Church, about nine miles from there. During that time the rector of Killurin Parish, the Reverend Abraham Swanne, was a lasting influence on Lyte's life and ministry. Later he was vicar of All Saints' Church in Brixham, Devon, England. For most of his life Lyte suffered from poor health, and he would regularly travel abroad for relief, as was customary at that time.

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School & Church Favourites
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