I Sing a Song of the Saints of God #293

# 293  I sing a song of the saints of God.

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Words:  Lesbia Scott  Tune:  Grand Isle  Composer: John Henry Hopkins

This hymn first appeared in the Episcopal Hymnal in the 1940 edition.   Lesbia Scott (1898-1986) wrote plays and hymns [notable collection - Everyday Hymns for Children, 1929] and was quoted as saying she wrote verse not for publication for but the enjoyment of her three children who would ask “write a hymn for a picnic” or “ a hymn for a foggy day.”    She speaks specifically of wanting to impress the fact that sainthood is a living possibility today.

Most of us probably smile when we sing “and one was a doctor and one was a queen” or “meet them in school, or in lanes, or in shops or at tea” for the charming British-ness of the text.   It was this very cultural specific nature of the text that led the Committee choosing hymns for the 1982 Hymnal to vote to exclude it, but a letter writing campaign led to action of the Joint Committee for Hymnal Revision for the General Convention of 1982 and it was restored to the collection.  

The original hymn was set to a tune written by Ms. Scott. Only later was the current familiar tune paired with the text.  The tune name comes from the community on the island of the same name in Lake Champlain in Vermont where Hopkins lived in his retirement. 

You’ll enjoy this spirited singing and fabulous organ from St Johns Church YOUTUBE