Tuesday, January 20, 2009


It seems like a good day to sing songs out of that little patriotic section in the back of the hymnal. Here is a song I found not long ago in a 1965 edition I bought at a thrift store. It is now one of my favorites among the national tunes. 

The tune my hymnal suggests is Hyfrydol, but Austria (as at this website, which will cause your computer to sing) may go with it even better. Fittingly, the song's inspiration came in Chicago.

Not alone for mighty empire, stretching far over land and sea,
Not alone for bounteous harvests, lift we up our hearts to Thee.
Standing in the living present, memory and hope between,
Lord, we would with deep thanksgiving, praise Thee more for things unseen.

Not for battleships and fortress, not for conquests of the sword,
But for conquests of the spirit give we thanks to Thee, O Lord;
For the priceless gift of freedom, for the home, the church, the school,
For the open door to manhood, in a land the people rule.

For the armies of the faithful, souls that passed and left no name;
For the glory that illumines patriot lives of deathless fame.
For our prophets and apostles, loyal to the living Word,
For all heroes of the spirit, give we thanks to Thee, O Lord.

God of justice, save the people from the clash of race and creed,
From the strife of class and faction, make our nation free indeed;
Keep her faith in simple manhood strong as when her life began,
Till it find its full fruition in the brotherhood of man!

By William Pierson Merrill

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