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Source: (consider it) Thread: Inclusive language hymns
Enoch
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The problem with insisting on altering hymns so they are inclusive, is that it tends to foul up the scansion and rhyming scheme. 'Man' and 'men' has one syllable. 'Person' and 'people' has two.

The same often applies to making everything plural but it also generalises the message, depersonalises it, makes it less immediate.

There's been a regrettable tendency also to fiddle with hymns so as to make the language more mundane, just for its own sake. Nothing must stretch anyone or include words a 10 year old wouldn't naturally say, or imagery that might be too expressive.

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Oscar the Grouch

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
'Sibling' is the gender neutral alternative with the same number of syllables, but it's very unpoetic.

Not questioning you - just raising this as a general question.... Why should "sibling" be "unpoetic" but "brother" is not?

I have another example of a song which, in its original form, was very exclusive:
quote:
Brother, let me be your servant.
Let me be as Christ to you.
Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant, too.

Now I have seen this amended in two ways:

quote:
Brother, sister, let me serve you.
and
quote:
Sister let me be your servant
(Repeating the verse at the end with "Brother"

Any thoughts??

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Faradiu, dundeibáwa weyu lárigi weyu

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Curiosity killed ...

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I've sung the "brother, sister" version.

Lots of Michael Forster rewrites for old favourites exist, some more successful than others, but a lot of people loathe his work, it seems on principle. I think the success depends on whether he's written something that sounds new with the same ideas and tune or whether the changes are tiny and irritating to sing because you remember the old versions.

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Adam.

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I've only ever heard it "Will you let me be your servant..."

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Vulpior

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
There's been a regrettable tendency also to fiddle with hymns so as to make the language more mundane, just for its own sake. Nothing must stretch anyone or include words a 10 year old wouldn't naturally say, or imagery that might be too expressive.

This. I can't think of the precise example, but the change was the equivalent of changing "rent" for "torn". An entirely unnecessary tweak.

I'm conflicted on inclusifying older hymns. I strongly support inclusive language in church, but I find that the changes jar with my memory, especially when they've also modernised/simplified the words.

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Amos

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The Cuddesdon Rule, it may amuse you to hear, was to leave all hymns written before WW1 unchanged, but make hymns written afterwards inclusive.

'He who would valiant be' is Percy Dearmer's bowdlerization of Bunyan's 'Who would true valour see.' The former is in the New English Hymnal. The latter is in Ancient & Modern. St Percy objected to the 'hobgoblin & foul fiend' verse, which he thought was unseemly. The Bunyan version (unchanged) was a favourite choice for the first masses of female priests in the early years of women's ordination.

I really don't like changing hymn texts, especially classic ones. I make an exception for 'We have a gospel to proclaim' which is much better in the TEC hymnal version which goes on 'Good news of Christ for all the earth,' instead of 'Good news for men in all the earth.' That one is egregious.

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Adam.

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quote:
Originally posted by Amos:

I really don't like changing hymn texts, especially classic ones. I make an exception for 'We have a gospel to proclaim' which is much better in the TEC hymnal version which goes on 'Good news of Christ for all the earth,' instead of 'Good news for men in all the earth.' That one is egregious.

And this, for me, illustrates how we should go about the process of creating new versions. It's not trying to just replace isolated objectionable words, which tends to be impossible given scansion consideration (and rhyme sometimes), but writing new sentences that convey the sense of the old. Clearly, "of Christ" isn't a direct replacement of "for men" but the new sentence replaces the old.

But, if you are looking for word-for-word replacements, replacing "brother" with "neighbor" often works.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Oscar the Grouch:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
'Sibling' is the gender neutral alternative with the same number of syllables, but it's very unpoetic.

Not questioning you - just raising this as a general question.... Why should "sibling" be "unpoetic" but "brother" is not?

I have another example of a song which, in its original form, was very exclusive:
quote:
Brother, let me be your servant.
Let me be as Christ to you.
Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant, too.

Now I have seen this amended in two ways:

quote:
Brother, sister, let me serve you.
and
quote:
Sister let me be your servant
(Repeating the verse at the end with "Brother"

Any thoughts??

I suppose it's just a matter of taste, but I've never come across the word 'sibling' in a hymn.

As for 'Brother, sister, let me serve you', the solutions you highlight work well in that hymn, but might not be possible in some others.

A thought occurs to me: one advantage of the much maligned 'me, me, You, You' worship songs is that they avoid the problematic third person.

[ 25. July 2014, 14:16: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Pearl B4 Swine
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My work-place church has a hymnal (in addition to the 1982 one) called "The Celebration Hymnal", 1997, which has "I am a woman", and a couple of pages later, "I am a man". I've never stopped to peruse either one, figuring they were the same, with only the gender words were exchanged.

But now that I look at them, the texts are from different sources. They both are loaded with christian platitudes and trite phrases that anyone could paste together.

At any rate, has anyone run into either of these songs?

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AndyB
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I believe that "Brother, sister, let me serve you" is now the official version of the Servant Song, and was changed by the author.
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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by AndyB:
I believe that "Brother, sister, let me serve you" is now the official version of the Servant Song, and was changed by the author.

It's the only version I've encountered - I was surprised to hear it wasn't the original.
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Robert Armin

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Amos:
quote:
The Bunyan version (unchanged) was a favourite choice for the first masses of female priests in the early years of women's ordination.

I'm surprised to hear it was sung unchanged. What I remember is it being sung lustily with "him" changed to "her", and "he" to "she".

i.e. There's no discouragement
Shall make her once relent,
Her first avowed intent
To be a pilgrim.

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Oscar the Grouch

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quote:
Originally posted by Pearl B4 Swine:
My work-place church has a hymnal (in addition to the 1982 one) called "The Celebration Hymnal", 1997, which has "I am a woman", and a couple of pages later, "I am a man". I've never stopped to peruse either one, figuring they were the same, with only the gender words were exchanged.

But now that I look at them, the texts are from different sources. They both are loaded with christian platitudes and trite phrases that anyone could paste together.

At any rate, has anyone run into either of these songs?

Praise the Lord! No!!!!

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Faradiu, dundeibáwa weyu lárigi weyu

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Amos

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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Armin:
Amos:
quote:
The Bunyan version (unchanged) was a favourite choice for the first masses of female priests in the early years of women's ordination.

I'm surprised to hear it was sung unchanged. What I remember is it being sung lustily with "him" changed to "her", and "he" to "she".

i.e. There's no discouragement
Shall make her once relent,
Her first avowed intent
To be a pilgrim.

I can well believe this! I only heard it the other way, but you can change the pronoun without affecting the scansion, so I'm sure it happened.
[Big Grin]

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At the end of the day we face our Maker alongside Jesus--ken

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AndyB
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
quote:
Originally posted by AndyB:
I believe that "Brother, sister, let me serve you" is now the official version of the Servant Song, and was changed by the author.

It's the only version I've encountered - I was surprised to hear it wasn't the original.
By the time I came across it myself, the original ("Brother, let me be your servant") was maybe used in one or two books. I don't think I've ever sung the original.
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venbede
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I’ve been looking at some English office hymns written by nuns for their own use.


The Father all transcending near
The fount of Godhead may we know,
His sons, his servants living now
Within the Pascha of the Lord.
West Malling

Here is God’s eternal Son
Now to men made known,
By the Sprit’s love conceived
Mary’s flesh his own.
Stanbrook

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Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

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Amos

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Those read as if written as a penitential exercise.

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At the end of the day we face our Maker alongside Jesus--ken

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
I suppose it's just a matter of taste, but I've never come across the word 'sibling' in a hymn. ...

Does anyone use it in normal speech, or is its use restricted to sociology text books?

--------------------
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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
I suppose it's just a matter of taste, but I've never come across the word 'sibling' in a hymn. ...

Does anyone use it in normal speech, or is its use restricted to sociology text books?
I use it all the time to tell people whether younger siblings are welcome at some event or other I'm organizing for our kids.

I have never referred to an individual person as a "sibling" though.

[ 31. July 2014, 23:25: Message edited by: Leorning Cniht ]

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ChastMastr
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Does anyone use it in normal speech, or is its use restricted to sociology text books?

I do, but I'm weird.

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Amos

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I share that particular weirdness with Chast.
In certain contexts at least,'sibling' is the word one wants. Hymns aren't that context Prizes for a catchy hymn verse containing the word.

[ 01. August 2014, 06:30: Message edited by: Amos ]

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Enoch
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Perhaps so that people who suffer from gender confusion won't feel left out, the hymn should be changed to,
"Sibling, sibling, let me serve you"
[Projectile]

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Jane R
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Enoch:
quote:
Perhaps so that people who suffer from gender confusion won't feel left out...
It's very sweet of you to worry about them, but most of the people who balk at describing themselves as 'brother' or 'he' are not confused about their gender at all.
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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
I suppose it's just a matter of taste, but I've never come across the word 'sibling' in a hymn. ...

Does anyone use it in normal speech, or is its use restricted to sociology text books?
It's certainly a lot faster than saying "brothers and sisters," and people are lazy.

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SvitlanaV2
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Today I had to sing 'Onward, Christian Soldiers' at a special commemorative service. I thought it was a shame that no one had tried to make it a bit more inclusive. There was a chance to refer to 'sisters' as well as 'brothers', but it wasn't taken. Considering that soldiers are now female as well as male it would have been a small way to redeem a hymn that many find to be too warlike.
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Zappa
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
quote:
Originally posted by AndyB:
I believe that "Brother, sister, let me serve you" is now the official version of the Servant Song, and was changed by the author.

It's the only version I've encountered - I was surprised to hear it wasn't the original.
As he's a friend of mine I can probably speak for him - yes he did officially change it and about 25 years ago now!

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bib
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I feel it is a real cheek to alter the words of someone's written creation and I would be very annoyed if that was done to me or any of my literary ancestors.

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Baptist Trainfan
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The one which annoys me is "Be thou my vision", which was sung at a service I attended tonight.

Plenty of women were happily singing:

"Be thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
Be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one."

Which seems a bit bizarre. But I've never come across an inclusive-language version!

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Lamb Chopped
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quote:
Originally posted by bib:
I feel it is a real cheek to alter the words of someone's written creation and I would be very annoyed if that was done to me or any of my literary ancestors.

I understand the point re writing in general. But if someone is using a text for worship, that's rather different IMHO. If someone makes a necessary change (or one that is darn close to necessary) for good and sufficient reason, I'd not be fussed about a rewrite of a hymn of mine. If someone is just screwing around, well...

But God's worship is serious business and my hymn (or other liturgical type piece) exists to serve worship, and thus, indirectly, God; not to be a literary creation on its own.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
The one which annoys me is "Be thou my vision", which was sung at a service I attended tonight.

Plenty of women were happily singing:

"Be thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
Be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one."

Which seems a bit bizarre. But I've never come across an inclusive-language version!

I've never seen an inclusive version of those lines either. Our hymnal substitutes the last two lines from another verse that otherwise is not used (and has never been used in our hymnals):

Thou my soul’s shelter and thou my high tower,
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Oscar the Grouch

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quote:
Originally posted by bib:
I feel it is a real cheek to alter the words of someone's written creation and I would be very annoyed if that was done to me or any of my literary ancestors.

Perhaps. But I think that there are two other points to consider.

First of all, if you've written something specifically for worship, I'm not sure you should be getting too precious about amended words, unless it is something that really corrupts what the original words meant. Changing "Jesus" into "Buddha" is such a change. Inclusivising lyrics is unlikely to be.

Secondly, in this day and age, there is little excuse for exclusive language, so if you've written something exclusive, you shouldn't be surprised or offended if someone inclusivises it. If you're sensible, you'll do it yourself.

I think it was here, some years ago, that someone said that Ian Smale didn't like the words of "Father God..." being changed from "now I am your son" to "now I am your child". I thought he was wrong then and still think he was wrong. Fortunately, the song is rarely sung these days, so the point is moot.

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Faradiu, dundeibáwa weyu lárigi weyu

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Roselyn
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In a Sydney Primary School in 1955 the word "God" was replaced by "Allah" in a poem we recited as a class viz.
"War Song of the Saracens"
By James Elroy Flecker (1884–1915)

"We have marched from the Indus to Spain, and by God we will go there again;"

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Basilica
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
The one which annoys me is "Be thou my vision", which was sung at a service I attended tonight.

Plenty of women were happily singing:

"Be thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
Be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one."

Which seems a bit bizarre. But I've never come across an inclusive-language version!

"Thou my great Father and I thy true heir
Thou in me dwelling and I in thy care."

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
]I've never seen an inclusive version of those lines either. Our hymnal substitutes the last two lines from another verse that otherwise is not used (and has never been used in our hymnals):

Thou my soul’s shelter and thou my high tower,
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Yes, I've seen that sort of thing done with other hymns, too. But IMO it's a form of cheating!
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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
I suppose it's just a matter of taste, but I've never come across the word 'sibling' in a hymn. ...

Does anyone use it in normal speech, or is its use restricted to sociology text books?
I did not realise that there were sociology textbooks.

I frequently use "siblings", particularly at work.

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Cottontail

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quote:
Originally posted by Basilica:
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
The one which annoys me is "Be thou my vision", which was sung at a service I attended tonight.

Plenty of women were happily singing:

"Be thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
Be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one."

Which seems a bit bizarre. But I've never come across an inclusive-language version!

"Thou my great Father and I thy true heir
Thou in me dwelling and I in thy care."

"Thou my great Father: thine own I would be;
thou in me dwelling, and I one with thee."
(Church of Scotland, CH4)

Which I don't mind too much, and am glad to keep the 'one with God' idea. I detest the anodyne 'I in thy care', which is there only to make a rhyme.

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"I don't think you ought to read so much theology," said Lord Peter. "It has a brutalizing influence."

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Baptist Trainfan
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Now that's a version I like! I have a CH$ here at home, but I never thought to look at it.
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L'organist
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So many of the changes in the name of 'inclusive' language display nothing so much as linguistic ignorance.

The changing of 'mankind' for 'humankind', in particular, makes me despair - as well as shudder at the crass stupidity thinking three syllables can be jammed into a metre for two.

In the case of the use of 'son' in Be thou my vision the use of the word 'son' is not to imply gender, rather it is to stress the type and closeness of relationship. Substituting the word with 'heir' gives a meaning no in the original and out-of-step with the sentiments of it.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Albertus
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That's a good point. after all 'father' is really a metaphor, isn't it, so why not accept the metaphorical 'son'?
(The obvious retort is, would I as a man be happy using a 'daughter' metaphor? Well, I'd find it odd in my gut, but I hope that I could understand and accept it with my head.)

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Pine Marten
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
The one which annoys me is "Be thou my vision", which was sung at a service I attended tonight.

Plenty of women were happily singing:

"Be thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
Be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one."

Which seems a bit bizarre. But I've never come across an inclusive-language version!

I've never seen an inclusive version of those lines either. Our hymnal substitutes the last two lines from another verse that otherwise is not used (and has never been used in our hymnals):

Thou my soul’s shelter and thou my high tower,
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

This verse is included in the NEH, which we use (no.339), so it's not that unknown.
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
So many of the changes in the name of 'inclusive' language display nothing so much as linguistic ignorance.

The changing of 'mankind' for 'humankind', in particular, makes me despair - as well as shudder at the crass stupidity thinking three syllables can be jammed into a metre for two.

In the case of the use of 'son' in Be thou my vision the use of the word 'son' is not to imply gender, rather it is to stress the type and closeness of relationship. Substituting the word with 'heir' gives a meaning no in the original and out-of-step with the sentiments of it.

Yes, exactly. I'm female and happily sing these words - one of my favourite hymns - for this reason.

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Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. - Oscar Wilde

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Oscar the Grouch

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quote:
Originally posted by Cottontail:
quote:
Originally posted by Basilica:
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
The one which annoys me is "Be thou my vision", which was sung at a service I attended tonight.

Plenty of women were happily singing:

"Be thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
Be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one."

Which seems a bit bizarre. But I've never come across an inclusive-language version!

"Thou my great Father and I thy true heir
Thou in me dwelling and I in thy care."

"Thou my great Father: thine own I would be;
thou in me dwelling, and I one with thee."
(Church of Scotland, CH4)

Which I don't mind too much, and am glad to keep the 'one with God' idea. I detest the anodyne 'I in thy care', which is there only to make a rhyme.

Anglican Church of Canada's Common Praise is marginally different:
"Thou my great Father: thine own may I be;
thou in me dwelling, and I one with thee."


As you say, they keep the "one with God" idea. BUT... both of them make the error of thinking that "be thou my vision" is a request, rather than a statement of fact. We are not asking God to do this, we are celebrating that it is already so.

So, the original lines:
"Be thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
Be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one."

could be accurately paraphrased as
"You are my Father and I am your true son;
You are dwelling in me and I am one with you."


So "may I be" or "I would be" are actually inaccurate. But I do accept that I am being terribly picky here and that most people sing "Be thou my vision" as a request. It's just that I love this hymn so much that I hate it when people misunderstand the central point.

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Faradiu, dundeibáwa weyu lárigi weyu

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Albertus
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No, they're not inaccurate. 'Be thou' suggests a wished for or hoped for or aspired to state of affairs (in this case, I suppose, one which the singer seeks to achieve by faith). This is consistent with the rest of the hymn ('be thou my vision' = 'may you be my vision'). I don't know what the original Irish says but if the translator (Mary Byrne) or the versifier (Eleanor Hull) had thought they meant 'Thou art my true father', they would presumably have said so.
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dj_ordinaire
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Is it a subjunctive?

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Flinging wide the gates...

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Oscar the Grouch

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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
No, they're not inaccurate. 'Be thou' suggests a wished for or hoped for or aspired to state of affairs (in this case, I suppose, one which the singer seeks to achieve by faith). This is consistent with the rest of the hymn ('be thou my vision' = 'may you be my vision'). I don't know what the original Irish says but if the translator (Mary Byrne) or the versifier (Eleanor Hull) had thought they meant 'Thou art my true father', they would presumably have said so.

No, I am pretty sure that the original Irish is proclaiming what is rather than hoping for what might be. I am open to be proved wrong, though.

(I wish I could remember where I read it, though!)
[Confused]

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Faradiu, dundeibáwa weyu lárigi weyu

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
So many of the changes in the name of 'inclusive' language display nothing so much as linguistic ignorance.

. . .

In the case of the use of 'son' in Be thou my vision the use of the word 'son' is not to imply gender, rather it is to stress the type and closeness of relationship.

Sure, but to dismiss any problem with the use of "son" as linguistic ignorance rather misses the point, I think, and perhaps constitutes some linguistic ignorance itself. The reality is that use of the masculine as generic has rapidly vanished or is vanishing in many parts of the English-speaking world.

Sure, "son" is meant to convey the type and closeness of the relationship, and I doubt few every took it literally. But as the language has changed, use of the masculine no longer conveys that sentiment cleanly. For many people, the metaphor doesn't work any more, or it works but it comes with unnecessary baggage.

Obviously, "child" conveys the same sentiment without any baggage, but then you've got a rhyme scheme issue.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Baptist Trainfan
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Yes, but "child" possibly implies a youthfulness which is less in the case of "son" or "daughter". There are no easy solutions!
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venbede
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quote:
Originally posted by Pine Marten:
Yes, exactly. I'm female and happily sing these words - one of my favourite hymns - for this reason.

If Pine Marten and the nuns of West Malling and Stanbrook happily sing the occasional gender specific word to apply to themselves, then it is the merest patriarchy for me as a man to accuse them of internalising their oppression.

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Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

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Metapelagius
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
No, they're not inaccurate. 'Be thou' suggests a wished for or hoped for or aspired to state of affairs (in this case, I suppose, one which the singer seeks to achieve by faith). This is consistent with the rest of the hymn ('be thou my vision' = 'may you be my vision'). I don't know what the original Irish says but if the translator (Mary Byrne) or the versifier (Eleanor Hull) had thought they meant 'Thou art my true father', they would presumably have said so.

I don't have Eigse ii to hand (Mary Byrne's edition), only the version from NLI 3, but that probably makes little difference. The fourth stanza reads thus:
quote:
Rop tussu m'athair
rob mé do macsu
rop tussu lemsa
rob misse latsu

Rop/rob is indeed subjunctive ~ 'May it be'. So we have "May it be you <to be> my father/ may it be me <to be> thy son/ may it be thou <to be> with me (i.e. mine)/ may it be me <to be> with thee (i.e. thine)"

quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
quote:
Originally posted by bib:
I feel it is a real cheek to alter the words of someone's written creation and I would be very annoyed if that was done to me or any of my literary ancestors.

I understand the point re writing in general. But if someone is using a text for worship, that's rather different IMHO. If someone makes a necessary change (or one that is darn close to necessary) for good and sufficient reason, I'd not be fussed about a rewrite of a hymn of mine. If someone is just screwing around, well...

But God's worship is serious business and my hymn (or other liturgical type piece) exists to serve worship, and thus, indirectly, God; not to be a literary creation on its own.

I don't suppose that the anonymous ?tenth century Irish ?monk who wrote the thing could have conceived of a vernacular hymn in the liturgy. It is a poem. Use it as a hymn if you like, I don't see the above as relevant justification for messing about with the words, given its origins. CH4 also tinkers with the next verse - cathscíath means 'battle shield' as in CH3; not 'breastplate'. Pace its admirers I find CH4 an irritating book in that it makes arbitrary changes where it is hard to see any justification. So 'laud' is out, and 'vouchsafe' totally beyond the pale in Angularis fundamentum. I am still trying to fathom why the editors have done what they have to 'God is working his purpose out' which cropped up a couple of weeks ago; I doubt that John Mason Neale would recognize what is given as 'his' translation of Conditor alme siderum .. and so on.

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Rec a archaw e nim naccer.
y rof a duv. dagnouet.
Am bo forth. y porth riet.
Crist ny buv e trist yth orsset.

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Cottontail

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'Battleshield' is changed to 'breastplate' for simple pragmatic reasons: congregations could never get 'battleshield' to scan. Now it sings easily and they never trip over it.

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"I don't think you ought to read so much theology," said Lord Peter. "It has a brutalizing influence."

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Leaf
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
Would I as a man be happy using a 'daughter' metaphor? Well, I'd find it odd in my gut, but I hope that I could understand and accept it with my head.

This sounds like a highly theoretical exercise for you, rather than the practical, weekly difficulty some women experience.

If you would like a sense of this puzzlement and alienation (Who do they mean? Am I included?) try replacing all the pronouns at your next worship: She for He, Her for His, women for men (but don't worry, because it really means all humans, not just adult females!)

Thinking about it, "For us women, and for our salvation..." sounds to me powerful and refreshing: Thank God, it really is for us, and we don't have to wonder how subsumed we have to be in another group in order to be included.

I commend you for at least imagining that it might feel weird in your gut, and encourage that empathy.

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