Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Faith of Our Fathers

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Faith of Our Fathers

Faith of Our Fathers

 Faith of our fathers! living still
 In spite of dungeon, fire, and sword;
 O how our hearts beat high with joy
 Whene'er we hear that glorious word!
 Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
 We will be true to thee till death.

[The original first verse was as follows:
Faith of our fathers, Mary's prayers
 Shall win our country back to Thee;
 And through the truth that comes from God,
 England shall then indeed be free.]

 Faith of our fathers! we will strive
 To win all nations unto thee;
 And through the truth that comes from God
 Mankind shall then be truly free.
 Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
 We will be true to thee till death.

 Faith of our fathers! we will love
 Both friend and foe in all our strife;
 And preach three, too, as love knows how
 By kindly words and virtuous life
 Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
 We will be true to thee till death.

[In Ireland the third verse was changed:
 Faith of Our Fathers, Mary's prayers
 Will keep our country true to thee.
 And through the truth that comnes from God
 Ireland shall then indeed be free."]

[There's one more verse in the hymnal of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the
U.S. (1940):
     Our fathers, chained in prisons dark,
     Were still in heart and conscience free:
     And truly blest would be our fate,
     If we, like them, should die for thee.]

 The 1920 St. Gregory Hymnal and Catholic Choir Book renders it, "How sweet woul
d be
 their children's fate, If they, like them, could die for thee!" Yuck.
 The Episcopalian version also says, "Faith of our fathers, faith and prayer sha
ll win all nations
 unto thee." I learned the "Mary's prayers" verse in Catholic school many years
ago, but I've
 avoided it because I thought it was divisive. Interestingly, that verse isn't i
n the 1920 Catholic
 hymnal. Modern Roman Catholic hymnals say "faith and prayer." [JO]

 Here in Canada, the first verse is the same as the original poster, John from B
risbane.
 Apparently the original was written by Frederick W. Faber in 1849 so that origi
nal posting
 maybe the correct original. However the other verses were modified in 1981 to b
e: [GS]

     2 Faith of our mothers, daring faith,
     Your work for Christ is love revealed,
     Spreading God's word from pole to pole,
     Making love known and freedom real,
     Faith of our mothers, holy faith
     We will be true to you till death.

     3 Faith of our sisters, brothers too
     Who still must bear oppression's might,
     Raising on high in prison's dark
     The cross of Christ still burning bright:
     Faith for today, o living faith,
     We will be true to thee till death.

Here are the soul stirring lyrics as I knew them (thanks to Maureen O'Toole from
 Highton in
 Geelong). I've notated the two part harmony tune plus LH piano in 4/4. The 3/4
is linked above.

 O FAITH of our fathers, living still
 In spite of dungeons, fire, and sword:
 Oh, how our hearts beat high with joy
 Whene'er we hear that glorious word!
 O Faith of our fathers! Holy Faith!
 We will be true to thee till death.

 Our fathers, chained in prisons dark,
 Were still in heart and conscience free:
 How sweet would be their children's fate,
 If they, like them, could die tor thee!
 0 Faith of our fathers! Holy Faith!
 We will be true to thee till death.

 0 Faith of our fathers, we will love
 Both friend and foe in all our strife,
 And preach thee too, as love knows how,
 By kindly words and virtuous life:
 0 Faith of our fathers! Holy Faith!
 We will be true to thee till death.

From: McGrath of Harlow
As far as I can tell the US hymnals seem to contain the 3/4 tune written by Henr
i Hemy. The
 range includes an 1878 Methodist Hymnal, a 1934 Tabernacle Hymns to the modern
Methodist
 hymnal and others in between. Of course my collection of hymnals is not necessa
rily an all
 denominational sample. If all the hymn sites have the 3/4 version that I know,
what is the 4/4
 version like? [RR]

 Well, I found the song in some 20 hymnals, including 3 Catholic hymnals (one fr
om the 1950's
 didn't have it). All of the hymnals had the song in 3/4 time, and not one had t
he line I learned
 about Mary's prayers winning the country back I did find a recording of Frank P
atterson singing the "U.S. Version" (3/4 time) and what I suppose is the "regula
r" version (4/4 time) - they're on a 2-CD set of Irish Catholic anthems, appropr
iately titled Faith of Our Fathers. [JO]

JiB, RiB, JO
apr00
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