mgpcpastor's blog

To Be A Pilgrim by John Bunyan – Sunday Songs

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The lyrics for To Be A Pilgrim usually begin He Who Would Valiant Be. The version we use begins All Who Would Valiant Be.
But otherwise most of the lyrics stay the same.
Attributed to Pilgrim’s Progress author John Bunyan, the hymn stands out among the author’s usual longer form works.
But even here Bunyan’s mastery of written imagery abounds, though most modern versions have dispensed with his ‘Hobgoblin’ and ‘Foul fiend’ in verse 3.
The tune Monks Gate is a bit tricky for a lot of contemporary congregations.
I’ve never used St. Dunstans, the other tune associated with the hymn.
The lyrics.
1
He who would valiant be
‘Gainst all disaster,
Let him in constancy
Follow the Master.
There’s no discouragement
Shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent
To be a pilgrim.
2
Who so beset him round
With dismal stories,
Do but themselves confound–
His strength the more is.
No foes shall stay his might,
Though he with giants fight;
He will make good his right
To be a pilgrim.
3
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 labour night and day
To be a pilgrim.

Here’s a rendition from Songs Of Praise.

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