All Creatures of Our God and King: A History
An Italian Catholic friar, deacon and preacher, St. Francis of Assisi (1181/1182 – 3 October 1226) wrote a poem in 1225 where the hymn called “All Creatures of Our God and King” was based. William Henry Draper, an English hymnodist and clergyman, paraphrased the poem and set a tune for it. The poem was published in 1225 but the hymn first appeared in the Public School Hymn Book in 1919. The poem was also known as the “Canticle of the Sun” and the “Song of All Creatures.”
St. Francis referenced the poem on the Scripture. The first stanza was taken from Job 12:7 and Psalms 148:3, the second stanza was from Psalms 148:8, and the fourth was from Psalms 148:11-13. St. Francis of Assisi led a holy life serving God and His people. People also knew Him as the person who tried to teach the birds of God and how to praise Him. If you summarize the song, it speaks of praises to God and all His creations, the sun, moon, light, wind, clouds, water, fire, the earth and all the things that grow from it, and all living creatures. People sing the song on many occasions such as prayer services, worship ceremonies, harvest thanksgiving, and festivals.
William Henry Drape (19 December 1855 – 9 August 1933) reworded St. Francis of Assisi’s poem and arranged it to the German tune called "Lasst uns erfreuen herzlich sehr" or “Let us rejoice most heartily." This melody was first printed in 1623, but it became very popular after it was published in 1906 on The English Hymnal, a hymnal book published by Oxford University for the Church of England. The hymn was originally composed by a Jesuit professor and priest named Friedrich Spee. Ralph Vaughan Williams edited the version that was aired in 1906, and his arrangement became the most used tune of Christians today.