Having spent a couple of days pondering the aversion which some express toward the use of hymnody at Mass, I have found these comments by Percy Jones in his 1952 introduction to the Hymnal of St Pius X most apt:
In the second part of the hymnal, the English hymns chosen are not intended to be exhaustive. The thorny question of English Hymnody will apparently never be resolved. In these circumstances, it is necessary to steer a middle course. We have around us only too many evidences of the blight of the mawkish sentimentality of several generations reared on the romanticism and self-satisfaction of the Victorian and Edwardian age. It was not confined to hymns; it was a plague infesting a whole civilization. But in reacting to vulgar taste, care must be taken not to go to the other extreme. In the reaction, we have been equally plagued by intellectual “puritans” in art to whom sentiment is abhorent. This approach can do as much damage as the mawkish. For this reason, particularly in hymns to our Blessed Mother, I have chosen words and music which have a certain dignity, but, more important, have the glow of filial love. “A lover must sing,” says St Augustine, and when he does, it is lyricism, not “four-square pomposity”, that will express his love.