Geoff Groberg

Redeemer of Israel and Irish Whistles

Mark and I are finishing another Hymns CD. Here’s the opening track, featuring a little too much Irish Whistle playing. Or, can you really ever have enough?

I actually used 2 Irish Whistles on this recording. One of them I purchased recently, and it was actually made in Ireland. The other one I made several years ago out of an aluminum shower curtain rod.

a page from the original 1835 edition of the LDS hymnbook
a page from the original 1835 edition of the LDS hymnbook

A little trivia

Did you know Redeemer of Israel was among the original hymns that Emma Smith selected for the 1835 edition of the LDS hymn book?

I have an interesting memory from my mission about this hymn. I went to England and expected to be with quiet, reserved Brits. Instead, I found myself in the heart of London with a bunch of Africans. My first Sunday in sacrament I was on the stand, because they wanted to introduce me. So I was facing the congregation. And when they started singing– whoah! I felt like the guy from those Memorex ads with hair blowing back as he listens to super loud music. (Is it live or is it Memorex?) Africans sing. They don’t hold back.

More trivia: I Saw a Mighty Angel Fly is the other tune you’ll hear in this medley. I also became familiar with it on my mission. Every year around Christmas time I would hear O Little Town of Bethlehem sung to this melody– totally different than what we’re used to in America, but really beautiful. Somehow it became a restoration hymn. But from the beginning it was not so.

Listen to more music like this at

Previous: Fairy Houses Next: The Story of Kish