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God Is With Us
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May 17, 2015, 03:37 PM
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In the May 16th Radio Derb I mentioned a hymn that I recalled singing in my elementary school, early-to-mid 1950s, to Haydn's tune Austria, better known as "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles." At the risk of losing RD listeners in droves I actually sang the first verse of the hymn, though imperfectly, from memory. I described the hymn as "splendidly belligerent."

What happened to that hymn, though? My elementary school was, under England's 1944 Education Act, locked in to the Church of England; yet neither of my Anglican hymn books-Hymns Ancient and Modern (1931), the ECUSA Hymnal (1982)-include the hymn. Nor is it mentioned in either of the two books on hymnology I own: Ian Bradley's Abide with Me and Fr. Rutler's Brightest and Best.

Radio Derb listeners (and a VDARE.com colleague) have risen to the occasion. Here are three full verses from the Hymnary.org website. [Listen in MP3]

God is with us, God is with us,

So our brave forefathers sang,

Far across the field of battle

Loud their holy war cry rang;

Though at times they feared and faltered,

Never once they ceased to sing:

God is with us, God is with us,

Christ our Lord shall reign as King!

 

Great the heritage they left us,

Great the conquests to be won,

Armèd hosts to meet and scatter,

Larger duties to be done.

Raise the song they nobly taught us,

Round the wide world let it ring:

God is with us, God is with us,

Christ our Lord shall reign as King!

 

Speed the cross through all the nations,

Speed the victories of love,

Preach the Gospel of redemption

Wheresoever men may move;

Make the future in the present,

Strong of heart, toil on and sing:

God is with us, God is with us,

Christ our Lord shall reign as King!

The words (which I misremembered slightly) are by Walter John Mathams, "Written by request of the Nat. Council of Evang. Free Churches, first sung at their Congress at Nottingham, 1896, and published in the Christian Endeavour Hymnal, 1896."

Hymnary.org has a graph showing "Appearance of this hymn in hymnals." Sure enough, it dropped out of the hymnals completely in the mid-1950s. Its peak of popularity seems to have been during WW2-not very surprising, I suppose.