Tell Out, My Soul

"Tell Out, My Soul" is a Christian hymn paraphrasing the Magnificat, which was written by Timothy Dudley-Smith in 1962. It is popularly sung to the hymn tune Woodlands composed by Walter Greatorex in 1916.[1]

Tell Out, My Soul
TextTimothy Dudley-Smith
Based onLuke 1:46-55
Melody"Woodlands" by Walter Greatorex


Timothy Dudley-Smith wrote the hymn in May 1961 when he and his wife had just moved into their first house in Blackheath. He was inspired to write the text when he was reading a modern paraphrase of the Magnificat in Luke 1:46–55 in the New English Bible, a translation which begins with the phrase, "Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord".[2][3] Dudley-Smith, in a 2006 interview, agreed that the hymn was "a significant starting point in terms of his hymns being published".[4]

The hymn has been included in a number of hymnals, among them The New English Hymnal.[5] It has been included in religious radio and television programmes, including Sunday Worship on BBC Radio 4 and Songs of Praise.[6][7]

In the 2013 survey, "The UK's Top 100 Hymns" conducted by the BBC's Songs of Praise, "Tell Out, My Soul" was voted joint 51st alongside "Nearer, My God, to Thee", Patrick Appleford's "Lord, Jesus Christ" ("Living Lord") and "Give Me Joy In My Heart".[8]

Musical settingEdit

"Tell Out, My Soul" fits the metre, and it was originally published in 1965 in The Anglican Hymn Book, set to the tune Tidings by William Llewellyn. In 1966, the hymn was included in the Evangelical Anglican hymnal Youth Praise, set to a tune by Michael Baughen, Go Forth.[9] The text was later paired with the existing hymn tune Woodlands, which had been composed by Walter Greatorex in 1916 for Henry Montagu Butler's 1881 hymn "Lift Up Your Hearts!". "Tell Out, My Soul" is now most popularly sung to Greatorex's melody.[10][3][11]


  1. ^ "Tell out, my soul". Cyber Hymnal. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  2. ^ Petersen, William; Petersen, Ardythe (2015). The Complete Book of Hymns. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. p. 247. ISBN 9781414331409. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b Watson, J. R. (2002). An Annotated Anthology of Hymns. OUP Oxford. ISBN 9780198269731. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  4. ^ Transcript of an interview with bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith
  5. ^ Press, Canterbury (1989). The New English Hymnal. Hymns Ancient and Modern Ltd. ISBN 9781853110023. Retrieved 8 May 2019. Hymn number 186
  6. ^ "BBC Radio 4 Sunday Worship, 22 July 2001 "Keswick Convention"". BBC Radio 4. 22 July 2001. Archived from the original on 15 February 2008. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  7. ^ "BBC - Religion & Ethics - Songs of Praise". BBC. 22 June 2003. Archived from the original on 18 June 2003. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  8. ^ "BBC One - Songs of Praise - The UK's Top 100 Hymns". BBC. Archived from the original on 8 May 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  9. ^ Humphreys, Maggie; Evans, Robert (1997). "Baughen, Rt. Revd. Dr. Michael Alfred (b.1930)". Dictionary of Composers for the Church in Great Britain and Ireland. A&C Black. ISBN 9780720123302. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  10. ^ Hylson-Smith, Kenneth (1989). Evangelicals in the Church of England 1734-1984. A&C Black. p. 328. ISBN 9780567291615. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  11. ^ Youth Praise : a new collection of Christian hymns, songs, choruses and spirituals. Falcon Books/CPAS. ISBN 978-0854918003.

External linksEdit