I vow to thee, my country (Gustav Holst)

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Editor: Andrew Sims (submitted 2021-02-21).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 36 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: The hymn with four-part harmony and underlaid words in the version published in Hymns Ancient & Modern New Standard
Editor: Andrew Sims (submitted 2021-02-21).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 180 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: The hymn in the version published in Hymns Ancient & Modern New Standard, melody with words.
  • (Posted 2018-08-25)  CPDL #50992:  Network.png PDF, MP3, MXL, SIB and MIDI files available.
Editor: Philip Le Bas (submitted 2018-08-25).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 83 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: A more "joined up" arrangement by Philip Le Bas of the well-know hymn "I vow to thee, my country" (Thaxted) to match more faithfully and effectively the original setting of the tune from Holst's "Planet Suite".
Arranger: Philip Le Bas
Editor: Paul Hayward (submitted 2011-08-05).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 1 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: An SATB choral version of the popular hymn.
Editor: John Henry Fowler (submitted 2006-01-07).   Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 20 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Unison version with organ/piano accompaniment.

General Information

Title: I vow to thee, my country
Tune Name: Thaxted
Composer: Gustav Holst
Lyricist: Cecil Spring-Ricecreate page, 1918

Number of voices: 1 or 4vv   Voicings: Unison or SATB
Genre: SacredHymn   Meter: 13 13. 13 13. 13 13

Language: English
Instruments: Organ, piano or a cappella

First published: 1918
  2nd published: 1983 in Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Standard, no. 295

Description: The tune comes from the popular orchestral suite The Planets, specifically the movement Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity. It is named after the town in Essex. Diana, Princess of Wales requested this hymn be sung at her wedding, saying it had "always been a favourite since schooldays." To complete the great circle it was also sung at her funeral in 1997.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

I vow to thee, my country — all earthly things above —
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

And there's another country, I’ve heard of long ago —
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.