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A Hymn, To Be A Pilgrim

2020 Camino Guides

grilly

Active Member
A friend of mine who knows how much I love to be a pilgrim sent me this hymn she used to sing in her monastery. It is said to have been composed by John Bunyan...

http://youtu.be/5LwZvJf431U

I am very interested by all that is about pilgrims. Prayers, music, art, stories...

claire
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
This was always my favourite hymn so sing at morning assembly when I was at school. (Of course, now I know why!) I guess they don't do that any more and that's a pity. Now I sing it whenever I encounter a tunnel when on the Camino. It sure sounds inspiring to me!
Oh and Grilly, I like your blog. Here is mine: http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004.SJPP-SdC-Finisterre)(1998-2012 completed in sections). Norte (2006.122km) Inglés (2009)
John Bunyan also wrote the account, a Pilgrim's Progress. It is part novel and part theological treatise. The hymn is found in the book.

The hymn is now regarded as too patriarchal by some so there is an updated version.

1. Who would true valour see
let them come hither:
here's one will constant be
come wind, come weather.
There's no discouragement
shall make me once relent
my first avowed intent
to be a pilgrim.

2. Who so beset me round
with dismal stories
do but themselves confound:
my strength the more is.
No foes shall stay my might;
though I with giants fight,
but I will have the right
to be a pilgrim.

3. Hobgoblin nor foul fiend
can daunt my spirit:
I know I at the end
shall life inherit.
Then, fancies, flee away!
Fear not what others say;
I'll labour night and day
to be a pilgrim.

In June 1998 I walked from Pamplona to SJPP. At Zubiri I was told that an American peregrina had set off from SJPP by herself but that she met a male French pilgrim on the way. For a while he seemed to be ok, but then he turned nasty. He told her that every time she saw a yellow arrow Santiago would curse her. Frightened she returned back to SJPP and set off for home.

When I arrived at Ronscevalles on Friday, June 5th, I met two young American peregrinas. They had never met before until encountering one another either at Bayonne ot Bordeux. One of them was the previously frightened young lady. The incoming peregrina had said, why don't we walk together?, and that was what they were doing.

Ever since then I have always sang the last verse by refering the pilgrim as she and her.

Not political correctness but having that lady in mind.

I have always asked the congregation to do the same and tell the story of why they might.

I have often wondered who she was and did they make it to SDC?

The video clip comes from a programme broadcast every Sunday night in Britain by the BBC. It is called Songs of Praise. Usually the person who has chosen the hymn will tell a story about why they have chosen it.
 

jennysa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino F 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 C Aragones 2012, 2017 2018 Via Francigena 2016 & 17 Primitivo 2018
methodist.pilgrim.98 said:
John Bunyan also wrote the account, a Pilgrim's Progress. It is part novel and part theological treatise. The hymn is found in the book.

The hymn is now regarded as too patriarchal by some so there is an updated version.

1. Who would true valour see
let them come hither:
here's one will constant be
come wind, come weather.
There's no discouragement
shall make me once relent
my first avowed intent
to be a pilgrim.

2. Who so beset me round
with dismal stories
do but themselves confound:
my strength the more is.
No foes shall stay my might;
though I with giants fight,
but I will have the right
to be a pilgrim.

3. Hobgoblin nor foul fiend
can daunt my spirit:
I know I at the end
shall life inherit.
Then, fancies, flee away!
Fear not what others say;
I'll labour night and day
to be a pilgrim.

.
Whenever my spirits were down or I was tired or lonely, or the road ahead was boring and it was difficult to put one foot in front of the other, I used sing this Pilgrim Hymn at the top of my voice (provided no one was within earshot), and immediately my spirits would be lifted and I would acquire a new spring in my step. It worked miracles for me.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004.SJPP-SdC-Finisterre)(1998-2012 completed in sections). Norte (2006.122km) Inglés (2009)
Amen, Jenny. Ditto.

My funeral is already sorted and it is the final hymn to be sung in church. I have chosen the traditional version but verse three will be sung as she/her with an explanation given as to why.
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
My funeral too is already sorted with John Bunyan's hymn included. Unfortunately Percy Dearmer also re-wrote it to be 'more acceptable' and his version is included in many modern hymn books. His last verse is:-
Since, Lord, thou dost defend
us with thy Spirit,
We know we at the end,
shall life inherit.
Then fancies flee away!
I'll fear not what men say,
I'll labor night and day
to be a pilgrim.

Note that there are no goblins or foul fiends included! I think John Bunyan had a more realistic take on life and I have chosen the original version.

Blessings
Tio Tel
 

grilly

Active Member
Thank you for all your explanations and clarifications. They make this hymn even more real and interesting. I was born French (nobody's perfect) and so this is entirely new to me. It came to me through a Canadian Dominican nun friend...

I find interesting that some of you have chosen to include it in your funeral mass. The thought came across my mind as I heard it and read the words. I have no idea where I am going to die, but the hymn could be quite a challenge if it is not in an English-speaking country :)

Thanks again!

claire
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
Wot? No lions and giants to fight? I'll take my chances with the hobgoblins but I do love to fight with the giants and lions. ("Lead me not into temptation" was my phrase to ponder on this Camino. As was Righteous Indignation" which always seems to dog my footsteps.)
Talk about whitewashed pilgrims!
T :twisted:
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
Like John Bunyan's Pilgrim I was pleased to find that the only 'lion' I came across on the Camino was chained! As I left Pesués on the Norte in 2009 I was just passing a barn when a huge brown animal leapt out barking and snarling! Before I could turn to run, it hit the end of its chain and went berserk!! These words from The Pilgrim's Progress came to mind and I crept past with the thing leaping about and gnashing its teeth.

"Fear not the lions for they are chained, and are placed there for trial of faith, where it is , and for the discovery of those who have none. Keep in the midst of the path, and no hurt shall come unto thee."

The 'black dog' sitting on my shoulder would cause more problems, which is why I would want to emphasise the spiritual nature of the battle rather than just 'pious thoughts'.

Blessings
Tio Tel
 

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