Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Mrs. Miniver (2)

 Here is another hymn text by "Jan Struther" which we were made to sing between grades/years 1 - 4 in the so called "Christian" services which were mandated in the schools of my youth. 

(I was in what Americans call a "Public School", but what English people call a "Council School" - i.e. a school which is funded and supervised by the local City or County Council).

Daisies are our silver,
   Buttercups our gold:
This is all the treasure
   We can have or hold. 

Raindrops are our diamonds
   And the morning dew;
While for shining sapphires
   We've the speedwell blue. 

These shall be our emeralds–
   Leaves so new and green;
Roses make the reddest
   Rubies ever seen. 

God, who gave these treasures
   To your children small,
Teach us how to love them
   And grow like them all. 

Make us bright as silver:
   Make us good as gold;
Warm as summer roses
   Let our hearts unfold. 

Gay as leaves in April,
   Clear as drops of dew–
God, who made the speedwell,
   Keep us true to you. 

Remember that those of us who were required to sing these words were children from the poorest neighborhoods.  We did not have a chance in hell to ever own gold, silver, rubies, diamonds or sapphires.  

So was "Jan Struther", aided and abetted by our local civic authorities , trying to convince us that daisies, buttercups, speedwells, roses, leaves and raindrops were as much to be treasured as the "real thing"?

Or were they "peddling" a civic religion which was full of good sentiment, but devoid of Jesus's words about justice, mercy, redemption,  and forgiveness.

Who knows?   

What I do know is this:

1. Some of my teachers were Christian Socialists (for which I am grateful).  They understood the fleeting value of "possessions", and the abiding value of God's creation.

2.  I liked to sing hymns  such as "Daisies are our silver" on account of their "nice tunes"!

3.  Jan Struther's words are little more than sentimental crap!

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