Sunday, July 05, 2009

Finlandia Errata

Some of your questions and comments in last night’s post caused me to do a bit more careful investigation. I made one significant error, and learned much more.

First, I learn from Wikipedia that the Finlandia Hymn “is one of the most important national songs of Finland,” but Maamme is the de facto national anthem. So we wouldn’t be snagging another country’s national anthem if we used it in an Episcopal service. Further, I learned to my disappointment that the Finnish text commonly used with Finlandia is much more nationalistic. [See it at the above Wikipedia link.]

The Finlandia tune has been used for many other lyrics, including our Hymnal 1982’s own “Be Still, My Soul.”

Lo and behold, the lyrics I used in the post below (“This is my song …”) were written by American poet Lloyd Stone (1934). It is included in the United Methodist Church’s hymnal of 1966 and 1989, according to the UMC official site and others.

In the Methodist hymnal, it has an equally lovely third verse, written by Georgia Harkness (ca. 1939). What some also call A Song of Peace has three verses:

This is my song, Oh 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 sacred 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 cloverleaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
Oh hear my song, oh 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.

I don’t know about you all, but I would vote for including this in the “National Songs” section next time we revise our hymnal.

Now ... I'll get on with replying to your thoughtful comments on last night's post.


Blogger FranIAm said...

I did not sing this weekend, I refused. America the Beautiful, Finlandia, God Bless America.


7/05/2009 5:24 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I love the end of the second verse of this version. Acknowledging that I love my country, but that others love theirs, too, and asking blessings for both.


7/05/2009 7:10 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Amen, Doug!

So, Fran, were you subjected to nationalist hymns in church today, too?

7/05/2009 8:17 PM  

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