A Song of the Saints of God

Yesterday was All Saints’, and I suppose I should have put this up then, but I’ve been busy… Calculus II test prep, don’t you know. Anyway, I wanted to introduce my readers to this classic Anglican hymn about the saints: “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God,” written by children’s hymn-writer Lesbia Scott in 1929. I think it strikes the perfect balance between on the one hand elevating saints to a heretical extent (praying to them) and on the other hand acting like there’s absolutely nothing special about people who really did extraordinary work for God. Also, because it was written and taught specifically to children, it’s very singable. I looked all over the place for a good version that used the original last verse, but the best one I could find uses an updated, “Americanized” version that isn’t as good (in my opinion). But who couldn’t love hearing this sweet little girl sing it? For those who are curious, here’s the proper British version of the verse (which charmingly refers to such distinctly British things as “shops” and “tea”):

They lived not only in ages past; there are hundreds of thousands still.

The world is bright with the joyous saints who love to do Jesus’ will.

You can meet them in school, or in lanes or at sea,

in church, or in trains or in shops or at tea,

for the saints of God are just folk like me,

and I mean to be one too.


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