A nationwide survey in the United Kingdom by the British Broadcasting Corporation found Be Thou My Vision to be no. 15 on people's favorite list. The survey was called UK's Top 100 Hymns.
I would not be surprised if it also among the top twenty hymns in the United States and other parts of the world. It is certainly one of the beloved hymns at least in my church.
This hymn was originally a traditional Irish hymn. It was known as Rop tú mo baile or Rob tú mo bhoile in old Irish. Tradition states that the song was composed by the sixth-century Irish Christian poet Saint Dallan.
The English version is the result of the work of Eleanor Hull who translated it in 1912. It was however in 1919 that the lyrics were set to the tune of the Irish folk tune, "Slane". The tune has stuck to this very day in both English and Irish.
The Irish have contributed many popular hymns to the Christian church. Some of those songs include Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Below are the lyrics of this beautiful hymn.
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
be all else but naught to me, save that thou art;
be thou my best thought in the day and the night,
both waking and sleeping, thy presence my light.
Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word,
be thou ever with me, and I with thee Lord;
be thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.
Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight;
be thou my whole armor, be thou my true might;
be thou my soul's shelter, be thou my strong tower:
O raise thou me heavenward, great Power of my power.
Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise:
be thou mine inheritance now and always;
be thou and thou only the first in my heart;
O Sovereign of heaven, my treasure thou art.
High King of heaven, thou heaven's bright sun,
O grant me its joys after victory is won;
great Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be thou my vision, O Ruler of all.
Below is a video featuring this hymn.