WHICH of our politicians today could stand and sing Gustav Holst’s wonderful hymn I Vow to Thee My Country with a clear conscience?
Which of those who sang to his music at Margaret Thatcher’s 2013 funeral could or would put hand on heart and be able to declare a loyalty to country that comes before all else – before party or self-interest?
How many would even dare openly declare their patriotism?
It was the thought of all this that prompted Margaret Ashworth to make I Vow to Thee My Country her choice for her midweek hymn last week.
‘I felt,’ she wrote on the day that Boris Johnson took to the despatch box for the first time at the behest of the overweening Supreme Court, ‘that in these troubled times, a patriotic hymn would be a comfort, reminding us of what makes most of us proud of our country and why we want to keep our identity.’
It was a comfort and does remind us. The BBC’s founding father John Reith would be proud of Margaret, as I am sure he is not of those who broadcast in his name. She informs, educates and entertains all in one short post. Who knew, for example, who actually wrote the inspiring words that Gustav Holst wrote the music for? Or the story behind them? Not me for one.
And you can still find out. Read and be uplifted. ‘I vow to thee my country‘ is my pick of the week’s blogs. No competition.