I Vow to Thee my Country

This is a patriotic hymn, which is particularly associated with England.  

The words are based on "Urbs Dei" ("The City of God") or "The Two Fatherlands":  This is a poem written by English diplomat Cecil Spring Rice (1859–1918) in 1908 or 1912, and updated in 1918, which describes how a Christian owes loyalties to both his/her homeland and the heavenly kingdom.

It was published as a hymn in 1921, when English composer, music-arranger and teacher Gustav Holst (1874–1934) set sections of the poem to melody, later called THAXTED, which was lightly adapted from the "Jupiter" movement of The Planets, a suite that Host wrote in 1917.

Hymn-books where it has been published in include:
  • Songs of Praise: enlarged edition, 1931
  • Methodist Hymn Book, 1933
  • Songs of Praise for America, 1938
  • The Book of Common Praise (hymn book of The Church of England in Canada), 1939
  • Hymns Ancient & Modern, Revised, 1950
  • Songs of Praise for Schools, 1957
  • Church Hymnal, Fourth Edition, 1960
  • New Catholic Hymnal, Faber, England, 1971
  • With Cheerful Voice, Hymns for Children 1968  and 1979
  • Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Standard Edition, 1983
  • Celebration Hymnal for Everyone, McCrimmon Publications, England, 1994 and 2012 
  • Common Praise: A new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern, 2000
  • Church Hymnary 4th edition, 2005
  • New English Praise, 2006, SCM Canterbury Press


This section may contain affiliate links: I earn from qualifying purchases on these. Free downloads are provided where possible (eg for public domain items).


Choir with orchestra:

Choir with piano:

Choir and congregation at a Royal-attended church service:

Tenor soloist with orchestra:

Choir with orchestra, professional recording, words on-screen:

Singer with pipe and drum band:

Instrumental - organ:

Instrumental - brass bands:


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 questions, 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.

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.

See more ...

No comments:

Post a Comment