Saturday, September 20, 2008

Another Hymm

As much as I often complain about the quality of hymns in Catholic Churches, I also find myself more and more loving the old Anglican hymns.

For some reason I have gotten stuck in my head the hymn "The Son of God Goes Forth to War". It was written by Reginald Huber, the same Anglican bishop who wrote "Holy Holy Holy." The hymn is probably most famous for its appearance in the John Huston movie "The Man Who Would be King." In the movie, whoever, the tune is changed to an old Irish air "The Minstrel Boy," the tune of which itself is based on an older Irish folk song.

The tune (if not the words) of the Minstrel Boy itself is in the United States associated with the Irish regiments of the Civil War, and is still used today by police and fire departments with a large number of Irish Americans.

Using either tune, the hymn is both powerful and moving. As I have said before, I sometimes wish the American Catholic church would simply buy up some old Anglican hymnals and use those.

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