History of a Song: June - “Each Life That Touches Our Life For Good”

This song was written by Karen L. Davidson and the music was written by A. Laurence Lyon. This song was pretty interesting to research because I discovered that both artists are members of the LDS church. In my random 'picking' of songs, I haven't really hit on that phenomenon. In fact I have started to get the idea that most authors and composers of hymns that are included in the current LDS hymnbook are not actually members or even enthusiasts of the Mormon church.

Karen Lynn Davidson was born in 1943 in the United States. Ms. Davidson received her first two degrees from Brigham Young University and her doctorate from the University of Southern California. Later she did some post-doctoral research and also taught English as a school or two. She is an author as well as a hymnwriter. She has written two hymns including “Each Life...” that are included in the current LDS edition of the English hymnbook. She was one of two editors of the recent publication of Eliza R. Snow: The Complete Poetry (Documents in Latter-day Saint History) which was published in 2009. Karen Davidson was also interviewed by J. Stapley who writes for the LDS blog “By Common Consent”about her work. She is currently working as a co-editor of one of the volumes in the Joseph Smith Papers Project.

A. Laurence Lyon was born in 1934 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. His father was serving as the President of the Netherlands mission of the Mormon church. He became a great piano player and at age 16, he was called as the organist for his LDS congregation. He served a mission in the Netherlands and he also sang at the dedication of the LDS Swiss Temple. A. Lyon got his bachelor's degree at the University of Utah and then later received a doctorate from the Eastman School of Music. He became a very productive composer. He has been active in his participation with the music for several temple dedications. Two of his works are included in the current edition of the LDS hymn book including “Each Life...” and songs in the Children's Songbook (Primary hymn book) including “An Angel Came To Joseph Smith” and “Christmas Bells”.

I must confess that I had never heard this song that I know of until a few weeks ago. I was flipping through the hymnal the other day while listening to a speaker and this song just caught my eye and I couldn't let it go. I came home and listened to it several times over the last few weeks. It seems to grow on me the more I listen to it... Have you heard this song? Do you have any particular thoughts about it? Do you know the authors so you can give us an idea of the inspiration behind their work? I am very interested....!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing some of the history of this hymn. I don't know much about the history of the hymn, but from the first time I heard it as a young man it has been one of my absolute favorites. I still cannot hear this hymn sung without my eyes welling with tears