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Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow

I would like to dedicate this tab to my guitar-picking buddy, Dalin Bird, who just recently “discovered” it in the LDS hymnal.  I was surprised he’d never heard it before, as it is one of the best known melodies in all of Christian musical tradition.  This is for you, Dalin.

In most English-speaking, Protestant churches, this hymn is called, “The Doxology.”  A doxology (from Greek doxa “glory” and -logia “saying”) is a short hymn of praises to God, typically an expression of praise sung to the Holy Trinity.  “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow” is in widespread use in English language, Protestant churches.  It is usually sung to the tune “Old Hundredth,” also called “Old 100th,” because of its association with Psalm 100.  In Menonite tradition, the hymn is often called, “606,” it’s number in their hymnal.  Students at Goshen College traditionally stand and sing “The Doxology” when 6:06 remains in a soccer game— but (so I’m told) only if Goshen is winning.

The tune is usually attributed to the French Calvinist composer Loys (or Louis) Bourgeois, who lived about 1510 – 1560.  Ironically, it was not originally used as a setting for Psalm 100, but rather for Psalm 134, and is listed that way in the Geneva Psalter published in 1551. That is the earliest extant published version of the tune, but, like many other old hymns, there are unsubtantiated rumors that it is older still. 

Virtually all published versions of this tune are in “Long Meter,” a poetic convention consisting of four lines of eight syllables, which is shown in the LDS hymnal as (LM) 8888.  Naturally, this works well in 4/4 time, which consists of four beats per measure.  A similar poetic convention, called “Common Meter,” abbreviated (CM) 8686, consists of four lines alternating between eight and six syllables each.  This works very well for music set to 6/8 time.  This tune works well in either meter, so I have tabbed it with a second verse in 6/8.  Lest you object to changing the meter of a hymn, the Tabernacle Choir does exactly that in their version of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” 

In 6/8 time, the accents are on the 1st and 4th beats: 1 2 3 4 5 6, giving each measure two main beats, just like 4/4 time, but with each half of the measure divided into three notes instead of two.  If you don’t like the 6/8 time, just play the first verse.  One common use of doxologies is as a sort of a coda, tacked onto the end of another hymn.  If you wish to use “The Doxology” this way, just use one verse.  Use the first verse for hymns in 2/4, 4/4, or 8/8 time, and the second verse for hymns in 3/4 or 6/8.

Only one part of this tab requires explanation.  The slide right at the end of the song is done very quickly.  It does not actually have to reach all the way to the 7th fret.  Use the slide as a sort of a light accent, before playing the final, high C at the 8th fret, then hold the C with lots of tremolo.