Sunday’s Song: An Ancient Irish Hymn

One of my favorite hymns comes from Ireland.  The lyrics originated as text within an Irish monastic tradition and existed for centuries before it was set to music. The melody has a haunting quality that evokes the sense of prayer intended by the words. Those words have refined over time to adapt to the language and cadence of each generation but its essence has remained the same.  It remains a prayer to God to be our vision. The latest iteration came from Eleanor Hull in 1912.  Those lyrics are shown below the video.

The musician is Jaime Jorge, a remarkable talent born in Cuban that immigrated with his parents to the United States at the age of 10.  Once you experience him, you will become a fan.

Enjoy this rendition of ancient wisdom set to music that remains a contemporary classic today.  Be Thou My Vision.




Be Thou My Vision (Eleanor Hull, 1912)


Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,

Naught be all else to me, save that thou art;

Thou my best thought in the day and the night,

Both waking and sleeping, thy presence my light.


Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word,

Be thou ever with me, and I with thee Lord;

Be thou my great Father, and I thy true son;

Be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.


Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight;

Be thou my whole armour, be thou my true might;

Be thou my soul’s shelter, be thou my strong tower:

O raise thou me heavenward, great Power of my power.


Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise:

Be thou mine inheritance now and always;

Be thou and thou only the first in my heart;

O Sovereign of Heaven, my treasure thou art.


High King of Heaven, thou Heaven’s bright sun,

O grant me its joys after victory is won!;

Great heart of my own heart, whatever befall,

Still be thou my vision, O Ruler of all.


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