Today's #NaPoMo inspiration comes from one of my favorite poet philosophers, singer-songwriter Van Morrison. While listening to his album, Hymns to the Silence some years ago, I found myself entranced by his rendition of the old Irish hymn, Be Thou My Vision. I played it for my daughters and all of my friends. Later, for the first time in nearly 50 years as a church-goer, I ran across a slightly different version of the lyrics in a Presbyterian Hymnal.
I have since seen this ancient tune garner increasing amounts of well-deserved air-time. Perhaps you are already familiar with it? If so, you may well appreciate why my Last Will and Testament includes a request to have this song played at my final farewell.
Yes, this song is THAT amazing--at least to the soul of this old soldier. Have a look at the lyrics for yourself, and see if you are not similarly moved.
- 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 or the night,
- Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
- Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word,
- Thou ever with me, and I with thee Lord;
- Thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
- Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.
- Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight;
- Be my whole armour, and be my true might;
- 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:
- Thou mine inheritance now and always;
- Thou and thou only the first in my heart;
- Sovereign of Heaven, my treasure thou art.
- High King of Heaven, when victory is won
- Grant heaven's joys to me Heaven's bright sun,
- Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
- Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.
Websites packed with information about this ancient Irish hymn
Various recordings as mentioned in Wikipedia on this date
- Mormon Tabernacle Choir - on "Heavensong"
- Moya Brennan – on Whisper to the Wild Water.
- Van Morrison – on Hymns to the Silence.
- Pedro the Lion – on The Only Reason I Feel Secure.
- Roma Downey & Aoife Ní Fhearraigh - on An Irish Holiday
- The Martins - on Glorify Edify Testify
- Jars of Clay - on WOW Worship: Yellow
- Eden's Bridge - on Celtic Worship
- Eoghan Heaslip - YouTube
- Alison Krauss - YouTube
- Selah - YouTube
- John Rutter - YouTube
- Michael Ball - YouTube