Be Thou My Vision
Composer David Ashley White
Text Irish, ca. 700; vers. Mary Elizabeth Byrne; tr. Eleanor H. Hull, alt.
Voicing SATB and keyboard
Topics Christian Life
Length 2' 15" Price $1.85 (U.S.) Released 1/02
Catalog no. 410-624 Difficulty Mod. Easy
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"Finally, there is David Ashley White's lovely 'Be Thou My Vision': an old friend in such a winsome, enchanting setting as only David could provide. The three stanzas are presented in classic hymn anthem style: Unison-Unaccompanied Harmony-Unison with harmony at the close. That said, this setting's affect is anything but predictable. My only regret is that the Creeping Political Correctness typified by the new UCC Hymnal has spoiled the imagery of the text: 'High King of Heaven' is Celtic and exalted; 'Great God of heaven' is merely pedestrian." --AAM Journal, September 2002
White shines new light on this familiar Irish text and tune. Understated in its simplicity, his setting radiates the warmth and natuural beauty so often associated with Celtic spirituality.
Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
all else be nought to me, save that thou art--
thou my best thought, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;
thou and thou only, first in my heart;
great God of heaven, my treasure thou art.
Great God of heaven, my victory won,
may I reach heaven's joys, bright heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.
--Irish, ca. 700; vers. Mary Elizabeth Byrne; tr. Eleanor H. Hull, alt.