Begin each new day with a majestic hymn
Alfred the Great of Wessex ascended the English throne in 871. King Alfred, defeater of the Vikings, founded the Oxford University. King Alfred was a busy king but he made time to sing hymns for he had a nice singing voice as well as write hymns. He was the first to translate the Psalms into his native language. He is acknowledged as the author of “As The Sun Doth Daily Rise”, which he was said to sing each morning without fail.
The homeless vagrant in the song is King Alfred, who was upon the Danes’ invasion fled under the disguise of a vagrant. He was dependent upon the kindness of others for food. All in all, King Alfred fought around 56 battles to defend his kingdom. During a battle with pagans, King Alfred pulled off a successful disguise as a minstrel, with harp and his voice he infiltrated the ranks of the enemy which took and detained him. He used this time to study the enemy forces and this afforded his army the victory over the pagans. Some pagans remained in England and were baptized as Christians.
Earl Horatio Bolton Nelson revised the text as “As The Sun Doth Daily Rise” and he published it in Hymns for the Saints’ Days, and Other Hymns, by a Layman” (1864). Earl Nelson was a politician serving in the House of Lords as well as a prayerbook and hymnal editor. Composer William Henry Monk applied Innocents as the melody. The Anglican hymn tune Innocents is the tune which sets up the E Major, 220.127.116.11. Metre. The song falls into the tradition of singing morning and evening tunes. The hymn is a call for Christians to offer their lives to God as soon as they wake up in the morning, a happy tune for a day full of promise.