Written by Brett Taylor

Friday, 30 November 2018

image for Unitarian Hymnbook Reverend John Goodeth

Hello to all my friends, whether you be Jewish or Catholic, whether you’re Buddhist or still identifying with the religion of your birth. Some non-Unitarians are unaware that we have hymns. Of course we do! What would fellowship be without a little song? Of course the most familiar of our hymns is probably “Onward Unitarians,” the famous marching hymn. You probably know the lyrics, but I feel I should print them anyway. My sincerest apologies if you’ve heard them too many times:


Forward Unitarians
Be we straight or gay.
If you want to pass on by
We won’t stand in your way.

Onward Unitarians
March, but not to war
And we won’t say anything
If you are a whore.

In the name of progress
We’ll make a world improved
But we don’t mean offense
If you wish to remain crude.


Onward we are marching
In our casual way.
Being Unitarian
We have no souls to save.

However, this is not the official hymn. That honor goes to “The Flame and the Daffodil.” We really don’t have an official hymn, as that would be pushy. We certainly don’t want to force anyone to like a particular hymn if they don’t want to. So this is our unofficial official anthem.

Human people can be strong
And so can a daffodil.

The flame can touch the daffodil
So why should we not lend a hug
To the foreigner or the bum?

Someday the flame will touch the daffodil
No burning will it feel.
Human beings can be strong
But so can a daffodil.

Of course our oldest familiar hymn is the classic “Spirit, I liketh Thee,” from way back in 1834. This was written by Reverend John L. Goodeth on a galley ship, even as he was surrounded on the troubled ship by vomiting Irish refugees.

Spirit that makest all, I liketh me thy works
The things that thou makest, they are quite good.
I liketh all thy worldly quirks,
I liketh me the woods.

I liketh all the rain that drops,
I liketh every tear.
I liketh all the chimney tops,
I even like the deer.

Spirit, thou art good,
Whatever thy may be.
Be thee girl or god,
‘tis all okay with me.


We hope you enjoyed these hymns, but it’s okay if you didn’t. And if anyone wants cookies, I think we have some vanilla wafers left in the annex.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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