Brightest & Best

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© 2016 Alan Humm


I didn't write this song. The lyrics were written by Reginald Heber, an English rector, in 1811. There is a traditional tune by James Harding, which is what you will find if you look it up in your hymnal. This tune, however, was written by John Fischer, and was on his 1974 album, "Still Life." This is my own arrangement. His version is here, if you want to compare.

Modern hymnals will often replace Heber's "sons of the morning" with "stars of the morning," either because they are trying to avoid gender language, or because they think the congregants are too dim to catch the reference to Job (38.7 where 'stars of the morning' are in synonymous parallelism with 'sons of God').

A minor point is that in vs. 2, Heber has "Ruler of all" and I have "Savior of all." This is not an improvement, just a screw-up on my part (singing from faulty memory). Kristina followed my screw-up so it wouldn't sound wierd with us singing different words.

I did a slideshow to accompany the music, which is on YouTube, if you feel like listening to it with visuals (traditional paintings).

Thanks to Grace Church of Chapel Hill for allowing us to record the drum part in the sanctuary.


Guitars, bass, keyboard, main vocals: Alan Humm
Second vocals: Kristina Ellis
Drums: Sam Oches

Brightest & Best

Lyrics only (in PDF)

© 2018 Alan Humm