I Vow to Thee, My Country
I Vow to Thee, My Country is a British
patriotic songcreated in 1921 when a poemby Cecil Spring-Ricewas set to music by Gustav Holst.
The origin of the
lyricsis a poemby diplomat Cecil Spring-Ricewhich he wrote in 1908 whilst posted to the British Embassy in Stockholm. Then called "Urbs Dei" or "The Two Fatherlands", the poem described how a Christianowes his loyalties to both his homeland and the heavenly kingdom. The first verse, as then written, had a direct and heated patriotism of a kind which has become less popular since the First World War.
In 1912, Spring-Rice was sent to
Washington, D.C.as Ambassador to the United States of Americawhere he worked to influence the administration of Woodrow Wilsonto abandon neutrality and join Britain and her Empire in the war against Germany. After the Americans entered the war, he was recalled to Britain. Shortly before his departure from the US in January 1918, he re-wrote and renamed "Urbs Dei", significantly altering the first verse to concentrate on the huge losses suffered by British soldiers during the intervening years.
The first verse is a reference to EnglandFact|date=June 2008 and the sacrifice of those who died during the First World War. The last verse, starting "And there's another country", is a reference to
heaven. The final line is based on Proverbs 3:17, which reads in the King James Bible, "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace."
In 1921 Gustav Holst adapted the music from a section of "Jupiter" from his suite "
The Planets" to create a setting for the poem. The music was extended slightly to fit the final two lines of the first verse; the resulting hymn tuneis usually referred to as "Thaxted" (named after the village where Holst lived for many years). This was first performed in 1925 and became a common element at Armisticememorial ceremonies. [cite web
title=I Vow To Thee My Country
:I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,:Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;:The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,:That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;:The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,:The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.
:I heard my country calling, away across the sea,:Across the waste of waters she calls and calls to me.:Her sword is girded at her side, her helmet on her head,:And round her feet are lying the dying and the dead.:I hear the noise of battle, the thunder of her guns,:I haste to thee my mother, a son among thy sons.
:And there's another country, I've heard of long ago,:Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;:We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;:Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;:And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,:And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.
The lyrics as usually sung omit the middle verse as not being suitable for modern use. [ [http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/rulebritannia.html British Imperialistic Anthems] in the "Modern History Sourcebook", by Paul Halsall, 1998] [Cite web
title="I vow to thee my country..."
publisher= [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/ Times Online]
Contemporary religious use
* It is associated with
Remembrance Dayservices in the UK and in Canada.cite news |title=The sound of silence |publisher= BBC News|date= 2005-11-14|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4429278.stm|accessdate=2007-04-20]
Diana, Princess of Wales, requested that this hymn be sung at her wedding in 1981, saying that it had "always been a favourite since schooldays". It was also sung at her funeral in 1997 and her ten-year memorial thanksgiving service in 2007.
* It was quoted by
Margaret Thatcherin 1988 in her Sermon on the Moundto the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
* In August 2004, the Rt Revd Stephen Lowe,
Bishop of Hulme, called for it not to be used in Church of England services, calling it "totally heretical". [cite news
title=Ban this racist hymn, says bishop
accessdate=2007-08-31] His view that it placed national loyalties above religious ones, and encouraged racism and an unquestioning support of governments, opened a debate on its wider implications. [cite news
title=I Vow To Thee My Country
BBC Radio 4
accessdate=2007-08-31] [cite news
title=Patriotism and Sacrifice
publisher=Diocese of Oxford Reporter
*The song appears in "
Voice of an Angel", the debut album of Charlotte Church. It also appears in the album " G4 & Friends" by the X Factor group G4. It also features on Libera's 2003 album "Free".
*After winning the
2005 Ashesthe English cricket teamdid backing vocals for the song, sung by Keedie, as a B-side to the cricketing favourite "Jerusalem".
*The song is also featured in the
Katherine Jenkinsalbum "Living a Dream" the UK version.
*The third verse is a possible source for the title to both the play and the film "Another Country", where the hymn is sung.
* [http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/i/v/ivow2the.htm "I Vow to Thee, My Country" at the "Cyber Hymnal"] .
* [http://anthem4england.co.uk/modules/news/article.php?storyid=3 "I Vow to Thee, My Country" at anthem4england.co.uk]
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I Vow to Thee, My Country — ist ein britisches patriotisches Lied und eine anglikanische Hymne. Dem Gedicht von Sir Cecil Spring Rice, das Anfang 1918 seine heutige Form erhielt, gab Gustav Holst 1921 eine Melodie, die er dem Jupiter Satz seiner Suite Die Planeten entlehnt… … Deutsch Wikipedia
I vow to Thee, my Country — ist ein britisches patriotisches Lied und eine anglikanische Hymne. Dem Gedicht von Sir Cecil Spring Rice, das Anfang 1918 seine heutige Form erhielt, gab Gustav Holst 1921 eine Melodie, die er dem Jupiter Satz seiner Suite Die Planeten entlehnt… … Deutsch Wikipedia
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