"Keeping the Hymns Close By"

Be Thou My Vision


Text – Irish hymn, c. 8th century
Translated by Mary E. Byrne, 1880 - 1931
Versified by Eleanor H. Hull, 1860 - 1935
Music – Irish Melody
Tune name – “Slane”


Proverbs 29:18 – Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

This eighth-century, anonymous, Irish hymn text expresses the ageless need of man to have a heavenly vision and to experience God’s care and personal presence throughout this earthly pilgrimage. The author’s high regard for God is evident in the various titles ascribed Him: Vision, Lord, Best Thought, Wisdom, Word, Great Father, High King, Inheritance, Treasure, Sun Ruler, and Heart.

Another interesting verse often omitted in our hymnals is:
Be Thou my breast-plate, my sword for the fight,
Be Thou my armour, and be Thou my might;
Thou my soul’s shelter, and Thou my high tower,
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my Power


Mary Byrne’s translation of this ancient Irish poem in English prose first appeared in the journal Erin, Volume Two, published in 1905. Later the prose was put into verse form by Eleanor H. Hull and published in her Poem Book of the Gael, 1912. The tune, “Slane” is a traditional Irish air from Patrick W. Joyce’s collection Old Irish Folk Music and Songs, published in 1909. The tune was originally used with a secular text. Its first association with this hymn text was in the Irish Church Hymnal of 1919.

Mary Elizabeth Byrne was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1880. She received her education at the University of Dublin and became a research worker and writer for the Board of Intermediate Education in her home town. One of her most important works was her contribution to the Old and Mid-Irish Dictionary and the Dictionary of the Irish Language.

Eleanor H. Hull was born in Manchester, England on January 15, 1860. She was the founder and secretary of the Irish Text Society. She authored several books on Irish history and literature.

May we as believers be characterized as people of vision – “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” Hebrews 12:2

"For It Is God Who Works"

This book, written by Dolly Martin Monroe in 1997, chronicles the beginning of Houston's first Christian radio station. It contains barriers, obstacles, and financial difficulties through which the Lord navigated this ministry.

We invite you to read our testimony in the hope it may increase your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His ability to provide for the needs of those who are His.

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Texas

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Latest News

The Bryan/College Station programming is moving up the radio dial from 100.9 FM to 101.3 FM on Monday, February 2nd. Please let your friends and family know that are in the Bryan/College Station area that they will still be able to hear KHCB but the new dial location will now be 101.3 FM.