Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Versions of Vision (NaPoMo 9/30)

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

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

A few selected versions from the many available on YouTube as of this date
Enjoy a video of this powerful and poetically moving song--and consider singing along!