This is My Song

We spent the first week of June at a family camp with the church Jake grew up in. The camp is known simply (and very fondly) as Reunion. While there, we sang two hymns set to Jean Sibelius's "Finlandia," neither of which was "Be Still My Soul," a long-standing favorite of mine. I really liked "This is My Song." After a bit of research, I found a stanza that was absent from the text we sang. I'm sharing the first two verses from Community of Christ's "Hymns of the Saints," both by Lloyd Stone, and a third by Georgia Harkness.

This is my song, O God of all the nations,
a song of peace for lands afar and mine;
this is my home, the country where my heart is;
here are my hopes, my dreams, my sacred shrine:
But other hearts in other lands are beating
with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country's skies are bluer than the ocean,
and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine;
but other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
and skies are everywhere as blue as mine:
O, hear my song, thou God of all the nations,
a song of peace for their land and for mine.

May truth and freedom come to every nation;
may peace abound where strife has raged so long;
That each may seek to love and build together,
A world united, righting every wrong;
a world united in its love for freedom,
proclaiming peace together in one song.


A bit about Finlandia: the Oklahoma City Philharmonic played the piece in 2007. Jake and I went that night. We were waiting in the lobby for the student rush tickets when a man approached us and offered us his tickets. He said they were great seats, eye level with the conductor. We accepted and found ourselves in the best seats in the house. We were right in the middle of Row L. I remember the row because Herman and LaDonna Meinders were sitting right behind us, and I wondered if they picked that row because the letter corresponded with their last name. The Meinderses and I share the same alma mater and they have been generous donors to Oklahoma City University as well many organizations in Oklahoma. One night at a university function that Jake was playing for while we were students - the school of religion's Christmas dinner - I sat across from LaDonna, and we talked throughout much of our meal. I can't remember what we talked about, but I remember feeling comfortable and interested in what she had to say.

Anyway, I believe the performance closed with Finlandia, and it's one of those nights I'll never forget. I could feel the music filling the air around me, and for a moment, I felt myself transformed by it. Perfect seats, perfect night, and little in-utero Cora loved it as well. I felt her her for the first time when I was 15 weeks along at one of OCU's wind phil concerts during a Martin Mailman piece. I always loved feeling the music that moved her.


  1. "Finlandia" has always been one of my favorites. I remember singing a setting of "This Is My Song" in St. Louis at choir convention that Dr. Willoughby took some of us to. It's a very moving peace.

  2. I hereby nominate this piece as the next church choir piece to be sung at the next we're-close-to-the-4th-of-July-so-we-need-a-patriotic-hymn Sunday.
    And everyone thereafter.



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