“The Holy City,” composed by Michael Maybrick (also known by his stage name Stephen Adams), is a sacred song that holds a significant place in the repertoire of Victorian hymns and religious music. Originally published in 1892, the piece quickly gained popularity and has since become a cherished classic performed in churches, concerts, and recitals worldwide.
The composition of “The Holy City” was a collaborative effort between Michael Maybrick, who provided the music, and Frederic Weatherly, who penned the lyrics. Weatherly was a renowned lyricist, responsible for writing other well-known songs like “Danny Boy.”
The song’s emotive power lies in its poignant depiction of the New Jerusalem, as described in biblical texts. It narrates the awe-inspiring vision of a heavenly city with streets of gold, a radiant sun, and an eternal sense of peace and joy. The music’s soaring melody and the rich orchestration create an atmosphere of reverence and transcendence, allowing listeners to contemplate the divine in its grandeur.
Though rooted in its Victorian origins, “The Holy City” continues to resonate with audiences across generations due to its timeless themes of faith, hope, and spiritual longing. Its universal message of seeking a heavenly realm beyond earthly limitations has made it a staple in religious and secular settings alike.
In this performance, with our soloists Marilyn Taylor and David Thomson, we invite you once again to experience the splendour and contemplation of “The Holy City” and to explore the mystical beauty of the New Jerusalem and the eternal aspirations of the human spirit.