HROUGHOUT THE PROCESS of producing the St. Jean de Brébeuf Hymnal—which will hopefully be released in October—our committee saw tons of theft. Even the most famous translators, such as John Mason Neale, steal phrases and rhymes from other translators. As I’ve said many times, when it comes to theft, nobody can hold a candle to John David Chambers (d. 1893). Chambers stole almost every rhyme he ever used; and he “wrote” hundreds of hymn translations. 1
Consider the following:
Robert Campbell was an excellent hymn translator. A Scottish lawyer, he converted to the Catholic Faith in 1852.
But can we all agree he stole from Chandler?
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
1 By the way, John David Chambers was a valuable assistant to Dr. John Julian in the creation of the (amazing) Dictionary of Hymnology. This would imply that theft was considered okay in those days.