Hear my Words, ye People was composed by Parry in 1893 as a
commission for the Salisbury Diocesan Choral Association Festival,
which took place on 10 May 1894 in Salisbury Cathedral under
the composer’s direction. It was a rare example of Parry’s use of the
ambitious ‘verse anthem’ form which his immediate forebears –
S. S. Wesley and Stainer – had written earlier in the 19th century.
However, in this instance, Parry adapted the form to suit the grand
scale of the occasion. With the participation of almost 100 local
choirs (2,000 singers), supported by the band of the Royal Marine
Light Infantry, Portsmouth, the musical structure and material had
to suit the range of choral abilities as well as marshalling the vast
number of voices. This original version was left in manuscript and
remained unknown: this is its first publication.