The Music of Odd Fellows Reclaiming the Odes Closing Ode – Italian Hymn -by Todd Swanson


Todd Swanson
Chemeketa Lodge #1
Todd is a Husband and father to two beautiful girls he is active in Family, Church, his Lodge and local community.

I hope everyone finds themselves in good company this holiday season and that you are ready to celebrate a worry free Christmas holiday. This time of year can get super hectic however. For me, it has been a great first couple of months as an Odd Fellow and I am having so much fun time connecting with both my local Lodge members and the greater worldwide community of Odd Fellowship; I’ve almost forgotten that I should be stressed out. As I dig further into the history of Odd Fellows I am more and more impressed with all that we have accomplished as a fraternity of brothers and sisters. 

Last time, we looked at the Opening Ode “Columbia” written by Odd Fellow Brother John Seiffert. Next, we examine the Closing Ode set to the tune, “Italian Hymn”.  As I mentioned in my last article, the odes of Odd Fellows have been set to several familiar tunes not necessary written by or for the Odd Fellows. The first of the closing odes being a composition from Felice De Giardini known as the (Italian Hymn).

Felice De Girdani Portrait
Felice De Giardini

Child prodigy De Giardini (April 12, 1716 – June 8, 1796), was an Italian composer, director, and popular violin soloist. He studied music in Turin, Italy and sang as a choir boy during his formative years. Moving to London around 1750, De Felice began writing opera and later became music master for the Duke of Gloucester. In 1796, De Giardini moved to Moscow, but died a pauper shortly thereafter.

Today, De Giardini is known primarily among churches for this work “Italian Hymn” or “Moscow”, which is used frequently to the text of “Come, Thou Almighty King”. De Giardini wrote this hymn he self titled “The Hymn to The Trinity” at the request of Selina Shirley, Countess of Huntingdon, famed for her own religious piety. Giardini contributed his “Hymn to The Trinity” and others; “Patient’s Hymn”, “Rondeau”, and “Turin” to Martin Madan’s Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes (1769).

Selena Hastings Countess of Huntingdon
Selina Shirley, Countess of Huntingdon

Funds from the sale of the hymn work went directly to support the charitable work of the London Lock Hospital. (On an interesting side note the London Lock Hospital played a key role providing vital public health services for several hundred years.)

The Lock Hospital
London Lock Hospital

Below are a couple different settings for this particular hymn:

Modern Setting

Traditional Pipe

Incidentally, this song may be familiar to many as a hymn of Christmas/Advent season so you may hear it in your respective churches.

Again, with software I produced both sheet music and a lead sheet with chord harmony in the original specified key Ab and way more guitar friendly key of G. Feel free to print and use this material in your Lodges. However, as this project is a labor of love, and is my arrangement and a representation of a great deal of time please do not sell or publish any of the new arrangements without my express permission.

G Italian Hymn Lead Sheet (Closing Ode)
G Italian Hymn 4pt Hamony (Closing Ode)

Ab Italian Hymn Lead Sheet (Closing Ode)
Ab Italian Hymn 4pt Harmony (Closing Ode)

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