Not taking gender for granted
The soprano section of an American college choir on a recent tour of
Scotland seemed rather taken aback when singing the second verse of Hymn 309
from the Church of Scotland Hymnary ('O Son of Man, our Hero strong and
tender', sung to the tune of the Londonderry Air):
To write a gender-neutral version of these words would be quite a
Lover of children, boyhood's inspiration,|
Of all mankind the Servant and the King;
O Lord of joy and hope and consolation,
To Thee our fears and joys and hopes we bring.
Not in our failures only and our sadness
We seek Thy presence, Comforter and Friend;
O rich man's Guest, be with us in our gladness,
O poor man's Mate, our lowliest tasks attend.
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