Hyrum (Beesley)

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Also known as 'Man of Grief', and, perhaps erroneously, 'Duane Street'.

General Information

  • MIDI
  • Composer: Unknown Composer—the earliest-known publication was in The Improvement Association song book, 1887 (p. 22).[1][2]
    • Note: This tune is often attributed to George Coles, but there is really no definitive evidence to support the claim that Coles composed the tune, or even the melody that the tune is based upon. Coles is known to have written 'Duane Street', but that is a different tune. Some claim to perceive musical similarities, however. The confusion appears to have been started by an assumption that since the tune 'Duane Street' was not found to compare with the tune at hand (i.e. Hyrum), and 'Duane Street' was known to have been associated with 'A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief', that perhaps they were the same tune.[3] It has since been discovered that they are not the same tune (whether or note Coles composed it, and whether or not there are musical similarities). Please post on the forums if you find a source earlier than 1939 that claims the tune is called 'Duane Street' or was composed by George Coles. Here is what the 1939 source says (although it is unknown why they put Coles down in the hymnal considering what this says):
It had been thought by our song compilers that the composer of the music was unknown, but since looking up references in this series, it is recorded by his biographer that the words were put to George Coles' tune of “Duane Street.” Up to date we have been unable to find that tune and cannot say whether or not it is the same as that used by John Taylor and reprinted since that time in our song books.
  • Arranger: Ebenezer Beesley[1][2] (1840–1906), 1889
    • Note: Ebenezer Beesley appears to have liberally adapted this tune from the one that John Taylor did sing before the martyrdom of Joseph Smith Jr.
  • The actual name of this tune has yet to be verified to be anything other than 'Hyrum', however the Cyberhymnal calls it 'Man of Grief' (without a source, and so perhaps they coined it), and the Latter-day Saints Psalmody, 1889[4] (the second earliest known publication of the tune) calls it 'Hyrum' (although there is the possibility that 'Hyrum' was an alternate name for the text, due to its historical use in the church, as one author supposes[5]).

Latter-day Saint Information

  • This is the tune used in the current (1985) LDS hymnal with A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief, although that hymnal refers to the tune as Duane Street (which is another tune, though also associated with A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief). Here is a source that gives hints as to how this confusion may have begun, as mentioned above also.
  • This is not the exact tune John Taylor used before the martyrdom of Joseph Smith Jr., but is rather an arrangement or adaptation of it. It was thought to be the precise tune before the discovery of the original tune that had been left in Ebenezer Beesley's choir book.[2]

Associated Lyrics

References