Be Thou My Vision Song Story

BE THOU MY VISION

“Be Thou My Vision” is a hymn that has been sung by millions over the years. It is a reminder of the devotion Christ calls us to, but also a simple prayer. Originally an eighth-century Old Irish prayer, Mary Byrne translated it into English prose in 1905. In 1912, Eleanor M. Hull converted the prayer into twelve rhymed couplets to arrive at the familiar four-stanza hymn. “Be Thou My Vision” in its current hymn form, first appeared in the Irish Church Hymnal in 1919. 

The hymn was rewritten for Anchored by Tyler Daniel, and sung on the album by Courtney Strifler. Courtney did an incredible job on the vocals! I love how she incorporated some subtle melody changes in the verses that give the song great lift, and the instrumentation fits so perfectly with what Courtney does vocally!

Below are some thoughts Tyler Daniel shared with me on Redeemer’s version of “Be Thou My Vision”.

The heart behind rewriting this song was simply to take this deep, rich hymn and add a clarifying chorus that helps sum up all that we are asking for in the verses. In the end, what we are saying is this:

O God, be my strength
O God, lead my way
When my heart is prone to stray
Lift my eyes, set my gaze

Be my all, my Everything

This was one of the quickest chorus additions I have ever done because I had been stewing on these lyrics for months and encouraged by them for years. It’s as if God gave me a quick, beautiful prayer to sum of the weighty words we had been singing for years. As we have sung this at Redeemer I have sensed that people have appreciated the downloadable, bite-sized choruses that help give weight and meaning to the other sections of the songs. The simple choruses helps the deep verses, and the deep verses give a weightiness to the simple cry of the chorus.

“Be Thou My Vision” (Redeemer Arrangement)

Be Thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart

Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art

Thou my best thought, by day or by night

Waking or sleeping, my presence, my light

 

Be thou my wisdom and thou my true word

I ever with Thee and Thou with me Lord

Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son

Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one

 

O God, be my strength
O God, lead my way
When my heart is prone to stray
Lift my eyes, set my gaze

Be my all, my Everything

 

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise

Thou my inheritance now and always

Thou and thou only, first in my heart

High King of heaven, my treasure thou art

 

High King of heaven, my victory won

May I reach heaven’s joys

Oh bright heaven’s sun

Heart of my own heart

Whatever befall

Still be my vision, oh ruler of all