Tune of the Day: Sicilian Mariner's Hymn
This tune is most notably associated with the Roman Catholic hymn “O Sanctissima” (“O Most Holy”). The earliest known publication was done in London in 1792, presenting it as a traditional song from Sicily, but no original source or date has been confirmed. The tune is often called “Sicilian Mariners Hymn”, referring to the seafarers' nightly invocation of the Blessed Virgin Mary as their protector. The tune has been notably reused for the German Christmas carol “O du fröhliche” (“O, how joyful”), the English recessional hymn “Lord, Dismiss Us With Thy Blessing”, and the first half of the American civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome”.
The present arrangement for two flutes is taken from Blake's Young Flutist's Magazine, published in Philadelphia in 1833.