Mudcat Café message #30953 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #673   Message #30953
Posted By: Bob Bolton
17-Jun-98 - 07:01 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Be Thou My Vision / Slane
Subject: RE: Be Thou My Vision -do ya know this Irish Tune
G'day all,

Ireland O'Reilly mentions other hymns with Irish tunes. One other that comes to my mind is a hymn we sang, here in Australia, at my local Anglican church, to the tune of the Derry Air ("Danny Boy"). This was recently dredged up from the memory of my youth when a friend was puzzled by the fact that her son's brass band played "Danny Boy" in the hymn section of a competition.

I don't know the name of the hymn, but it starts with the words:

I cannot tell why He whom angels worship,
Should set His love upon the sons of men,
Or why, as shepherd, he should seek the wanderers
And bring them home, I know not how or when.
But this I know, He heals the broken-hearted ...

My memory gets a bit dodgy around this point, but it is worth noting as a hymn using an Irish tune. I don't know whether the words are translated from an earlier version or just a standard English appropriation of a popular tune.

There was a period in the Evangelic churches when it was felt necessary to use popular tunes for hymns to broaden their appeal and get out to the ordinary people.


Bob Bolton