“Old Hundred”


"All people that on earth do dwell, Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice." Alternately, "Make ye a joyful sounding noise, Unto Jehovah, all the earth." The listener is reminded that Jehovah is God, and is advised to enter "his courts with thankfulness."


This tune is now better known as "The Doxology," but those words are relatively recent. The source and age of the original words are subject to slight debate. Fuld reports that the music is said to have been provided by Louis Bourgeois for Psalm 134 in the 1551 Genevan Psalter. However, no copies of this book survive, and the 1553 edition lacks the song.

The first certain printing, the 1560 edition "Psalms of David in English," has the piece with words credited to William Kethe. (The "doxology" stanza is from Thomas Ken, and is later.) According to Johnson, William Kethe was a Scotsman, but apparently he ended up in England, because he "fled before the persecution of Mary 1555-1558 [presumably, by the dates, Mary Tudor of England, not Mary Stuart of Scotland] and found refuge in Geneva."

Johnson also reports that this song "was suggested to us by the McCormick Theological Seminary as expressing Calvin's and Presbuterian/Reformedhymn concepts in much the same way as _A Mighty Fortress Is Our God_ could be said to represent Luther's."

The version printed by Scott (from the Bay Psalm Book of 1640) has the curious trait of using the name "Jehovah" rather than the theologically correct "the LORD" or the phonologically correct "YAHWEH." This version does have the advantage of being noticeably closer to the Hebrew in meaning.

The Missouri Harmony has a song, "Old Hundred" (as well as a "New Hundred") which doesn't seem to match any version of this I've ever seen in either text or tune.- RBW

Same tune

  • Hymn for Syttende Mai (Pankake-PHCFSB, pp. 18-19 -- though the words have to be squeezed pretty hard to fit)
  • The Dogsology (Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 156)


  1. Scott-BoA, pp. 28-29, "Psalm 100 (A Psalm of Praise)" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Silber-FSWB, p. 366, "Old Hundred" (1 text)
  3. Fuld-WFM, pp. 409-410, "Old Hundred"
  4. DT, (OLDHUND*)
  5. ADDITIONAL: Charles Johnson, One Hundred and One Famous Hymns (Hallberg, 1982), pp. 26-27, "All People That On Earth Do Dwell" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. BI, SBoA028


Alternate titles: “Old Hundredth”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1560
Found in: Britain(England) US(NE)