The fathers built this city

The fathers built this city. William George Tarrant* (1853-1928). Long before the ‘city’ hymns of modern hymnbooks, there was a concern for the welfare, both physical and spiritual, of urban populations (see, for example the near-contemporary ‘Where cross the crowded ways of life’*). This hymn by a Unitarian minister was written for ‘Citizen Sunday’ in 1905, and published in The Fellowship Hymn Book (FHB, 1909), entitled ‘Hymn of the City’. It was included in the Primitive Methodist Hymnal Supplement (1912), and in FHB (1933). Its inclusion in the Unitarian Hymns of Worship Revised (1962) was followed by its retention in Hymns of Faith and Freedom (HFF (1991), with ‘fathers’ altered to...

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