I Sing a Song of the Saints of God

“I Sing a Song of the Saints of God” is a children’s hymn written by Lesbia Lesley Scott (1898-1986) and first published in Everyday Hymns for Little Children in 1929.

The spouse of an Anglican priest and writer of pageant plays and religious dramas, Scott composed numerous hymns — both texts and tunes — for various topics and occasions to sing to her own young children. Her hymn, “Saints Days” (“I Sing a Song of the Saints of God”) was selected for inclusion in The Hymnal 1940 of the Episcopal Church USA, with a new tune, GRAND ISLE, composed by John Henry Hopkins (1861-1945), a retired Episcopal priest and relative of John Henry Hopkins, Jr. (1820-1891), composer of “We Three Kings of Orient Are.”

Though very provincial in its allusions to the culture of rural England in the early 20th century, “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God” is beloved by American Anglicans — so much that when it was considered for removal from the Episcopal Church’s Hymnal 1982 for its “lack of theological profundity,” it sparked a letter-writing campaign to retain it.

A jaunty tune that is simply fun to sing, “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God” is appropriate for the commemoration of any saint and at baptismal services, and it is especially recommended for All Saints Day.

The copyrighted text may be found as #293 in The Hymnal 1982, as #712 in the United Methodist Hymnal, and in various other sources. This arrangement is intended to accompany congregational singing on festive occasions and features an introduction by brass quintet, verse 1 accompaniment by organ, verse 2 accompaniment by solo trumpet and organ, a brief interlude/modulation up one step, verse 3 accompaniment by brass with trumpet descant and organ, and a joyful coda.

Score, parts for organ, Bb tpt. 1, Bb tpt. 2, F horn, tbn, tuba) — $25.00