Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » “O Britain! Dear Britain!”

“O Britain! Dear Britain!”

By: Ardis E. Parshall - August 21, 2013

In 1933, the Millennial Star sponsored a contest urging members of the Church in Great Britain to compose songs – to be sung to popular Church hymn tunes – celebrating the British Isles as a home for the Saints. The winning composition was submitted by Joseph Orton Bettridge (1895-1966), a member of the Hucknall Branch, Nottingham District. For his efforts, Brother Bettridge received a copy of The Life of Brigham Young, by Susa Young Gates, presented by Leah D. Widtsoe, Susa’s daughter and, as wife of then-president of the British Mission, leader of the women’s auxiliaries in the mission.

(Presented today in honor of the recent British Pageant reviewed today by Joel, at By Common Consent.)


(Tune –“O Ye Mountains High”)

By Joseph Orton Bettridge

O my island home, where the billows roam,
Clean and fresh with the breeze from the sea;
With her fields green and gold, beauty favours the bold,
In the land of the brave and the free!
O Britain! dear Britain! home of the brave!
Thy fair sons will defend, truth and justice extend
Over earth, while our colours shall wave.

In thy sunlit hills, where the skylark trills
Notes of love to his mate in the dell,
Where the streams, crystal clear, ripple sweet in the ear,
Of a land where true patriots dwell.
O Britain! dear Britain! land of the brave!
We will rise in our might to do battle for right,
And the downcast and fallen to save.

Here the true Church of God found a fertile sod
On the shores of our bright little isle;
May her sons ever shine in a light so divine,
And our nation shall prosper the while.
O Britain! dear Britain! home of the brave!
May the Gospel of peace ’mong thy people increase,
For the Gospel is mighty to save.

Then ye saints now arise, for your power ever lies
In the influence for good that ye wield;
May our country be blessed and be freed of distress,
And the Gospel a rich harvest yield.
O Britain! dear Britain! land of the brave!
Of thy praises we’ll sing, to thy just laws we’ll cling,
And assist thee thy glory to save!



  1. Interesting little piece. I just had a great visit earlier today with some long-time residents of England, a former president of one of the stakes there, now that I think of it, as well as a few other family members, and they sure did enjoy their time there.

    Comment by Amy T — August 21, 2013 @ 12:41 pm

  2. Thanks, Ardis! Very interesting.

    Comment by Christopher — August 21, 2013 @ 7:20 pm

  3. The song is more British than he realises. Charles penrose, British, wrote it while still serving in Britain. Every time I hear it sung it makes me smile because the place he wrote it is as flat as a pancake. O ye mountains high! Obviously very keen to get to Zion.

    Comment by Peter Fagg — November 29, 2013 @ 3:51 pm

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