Thursday, November 1, 2012

Really Cute All Saints Song

Thank heaven that no matter what treacly pop tunes choir directors feel compelled to include in the Sunday lineup, at least they haven't replaced that rousing anthem, For All The Saints, which I think is still used as the recessional hymn just about everywhere.

But next to For All the Saints, my favorite All Saints Day song is something you never hear in a Catholic church. It comes from the Anglican hymnal, and I suspect other protestant denomination use it as well. This morning, our pastor, a former Baptist, recounted vague memories of a song about the saints that he couldn't quite recall, but loved because it suggested that the saints come from all walks of life. I knew right away which one he was talking about.

I Sing a Song of the Saints of God has the vibe of a children's song. There's even an illustrated children's book about it. Here are the lyrics, followed by a performance:

I sing a song of the saints of God, 
 patient and brave and true, 
 who toiled and fought and lived and died 
 for the Lord they loved and knew. 
 And one was a doctor, and one was a queen, 
 and one was a shepherdess on the green; 
 they were all of them saints of God, and I mean, 
 God helping, to be one too. 

2. They loved their Lord so dear, so dear, 
 and his love made them strong; 
 and they followed the right for Jesus' sake 
 the whole of their good lives long. 
 And one was a soldier, and one was a priest, 
 and one was slain by a fierce wild beast;
 and there's not any reason, no, not the least, 
 why I shouldn't be one too. 

3. They lived not only in ages past; 
 there are hundreds of thousands still. 
 The world is bright with the joyous saints 
 who love to do Jesus' will. 
 You can meet them in school, on the street, in the store, 
 in church, by the sea, in the house next door; 
 they are saints of God, whether rich or poor, 
 and I mean to be one too.


  1. Love this link! Can't wait to give it to my daughter this afternoon!

  2. It was written by Lesbia Scott (interesting name!) in 1929 as a hymn for children. It's included in the "Hymns for Children" section of The Hymnal 1940 (official hymnal of the Episcopal Church from 1940 to 1982).

  3. The third stanza quoted above is a bit de-Britished. In the Hymnal 1940, it goes:

    They lived not only in agest past,
    There are hundreds of thousands still,
    The world is bright with the joyous saints
    Who love to do Jesus' will.
    You can meet them in school, or in lanes, or at sea,
    In church, or in trains, or in shops, or at tea,
    For the saints of God are just folk like me,
    And I mean to be one too.

    1. Ha! I didn't catch that. I had learned the British version. But the American one works too.

    2. And of course it's fun to indulge in a little innocent mischief by swapping "priest" and "beast" in the second stanza. It's almost a must. Gets the smiles going for sure. :)

    3. LOL! When my kids sang this, they always sang "fierce wild beast" with gusto, and sometimes pantomiming the beast with snarling teeth and hands raised like claws.

  4. Thank you so much! That did the trick, you saved me more endless hours of searching for a fix.

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