"All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name": An Anthem for Christ and Christians
"All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name" takes the title of being the "National Anthem of Christendom" amidst all Christian hymns in recorded history.
It is a lofty title and big shoes to fill. Edward Perrone penned this hymn while doing his missionary work in India. It was published in November 1779 issue of the Gospel Magazine. A year later, another version of this hymn appeared in the same magazine with eight-stanzas and a different title. This version's title is "On the Resurrection. The Lord is King." This hymn also has an alternate version, written by John Rippon in 1780.
The hymn has three acclaimed tunes or melody. The most popular is "Coronation" by Oliver Holden in 1793, "Miles Lane" by William Shrubsole in 1779 and "Diadem" by James Ellor in 1838. "Diadem" is the favored tune for a choir arrangement.
Every melody reflects a different cultural and denominational context. For instance, "Coronation" invokes a stately tune, bordering on a sound of a coronation march. Meanwhile, "Diadem" is great for choir singing and has a stately minuet feel. The original tune, "Miles' Lane," is not a favorite and less heard compared to the other more buoyant themes.
Like its tune, the text of the hymn also undergoes many changes. The original text of the hymn has five verses, with six lines each. In some versions, there are only four stanzas with four lines. Others have the four stanzas but six lines. Despite the different versions, the theme of the hymn persists, which is about praising the Lord, with the basis from Philippians 2:9-11.
Edward Perronet came from Shoreham, Kent, England. His father was the Reverend Vincent Perronet, who was a vicar. He is well acquainted with Wesley in Canterbury and Norwich. A pastor of a dissenting congregation, he published a book entitled "Occasional Verses, Moral and Social."