This is not an original post – I "borrowed" it from a blog I read…you can check it out here. But this is just great!
"I was at choir practice this evening and one of our members
is telling us about something her PhD musicologist daughter had
discovered about the hymn What Wondrous Love Is This.
The tune is called Wondrous Love and is traced to William Walker's shape note tunebook Southern Harmony (New
Haven, 1835). Apparently, many of these tunes were brought to America
by Irish, Welsh, and English immigrants and were often Christianized
versions of secular songs. It turns out that Wondrous Love
was originally a popular song about the pirate Captain Kidd who was
executed in England in 1701. The original text went like this:
My name was Robert Kidd, when I sailed, when I sailed.
My name was Robert Kidd, when I sailed.
My name was Robert Kidd, God's laws I did forbid.
So wickedly I did, when I sailed, when I sailed.
So wickedly I did, when I sailed.
Well, shiver me timbers, if that doesn't just take the wind right out of your sails!
Sing along friends!