Very few of the hymns in common use employ irony, in the sacred way that St. John’s Gospel does. The poems of the martyr St. Robert Southwell, when set to music, are a happy exception that is slowly gaining traction. The beautiful I Sought the Lord, about the mystery of prevenient grace, is another. Another exception very appropriate for this week is My Song Is Love Unknown. This excellent rendering leaves out one poignant verse, given here, which recalls the Reproaches–although in Gospel terms..
The whole hymn is worth long reflection.
Why, what hath my Lord done? What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run, He gave the blind their sight,
Sweet injuries! Yet they at these Themselves displease, and ’gainst Him rise.