Erik Routley (1917-1982) was one of the Christian church’s most prominent hymnwriters and hymnologists during the twentieth century. He worked tirelessly to promote hymns and hymn singing through his work as a composer, writer, researcher, and pastor.
His two famous books which provide a study of hymns are Hymns and Human Life (1952) and Hymns and the Faith (1955). He also assisted as editor of many hymnals.
Routley wrote many hymn texts and tunes. In 1968 he published a tune called SHARPETHORNE for Albert Bayly’s hymn ‘What does the Lord Require’. His most popular and famous contribution to hymnody is his harmonisation of the Irish melody SLANE, to which the words ‘Be Thou My Vision’ are sung.