06 July 2009

What I Got To Sing on the Fourth of July

along with America the Beautiful, of course...

"This is My Song"

This is my song, O God of all the nations,
A song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;
But other hearts in other lands are beating
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country's skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
This is my song, O God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.

May truth and freedom come to every nation;
May peace abound where strife has raged so long;
That each may seek to love and build together,
A world united, righting every wrong;
A world united in its love for freedom,
Proclaiming peace together in one song.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is set to the tune of Sibelius' Finlandia Hymn, which will move you to tears with no words required.

These lyrics were written by two Americans [!] -- Lloyd Stone in 1934 [verses 1 and 2] and Georgia Harkness in 1939 [verse 3]. I was privileged to sing them, along with about 100 other people, as part of a jubilee celebration for two wonderful women of faith, two kind and loving nuns each celebrating her fiftieth anniversary of 'taking the veil' - on the 4th of July, 1959.

Fifty years lived in the daily practice of the presence of God, lived in the daily work of love, of community, of faith; of teaching and learning, of seeking to be, bring, and live peace.

As if that wasn't more than enough to fill a day with joy - a few hours later, there were fireworks!

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