Now praise we great and famous men

Now praise we great and famous men. William George Tarrant* (1853-1928). First published in Tarrant’s Songs Devout (1912). Based on Ecclesiasticus/ Sirach 44, it was popular in the 20th century (MHB, CP, BHB, and many other books), but its use of the non-inclusive ‘men’ throughout has made it unacceptable in its original form (‘Now praise we great and famous men/ The fathers, named in story’). However, Unitarian books, anxious not to lose such a good hymn, have modified the text. In Hymns for Living (HFL, 1985) it begins ‘Now praise we great and famous men/ And women named in story’. Hymns of Faith and Freedom (HFL, 1991) alters to ‘Now praise we thus in song again/ The founders named in...

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