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The one with the massive flashback

Facebook drives me mad a lot of the time, not mad enough to not live on it constantly of course (It's not that I *want* too, I HAVE to because of my work, well that and I'm far too nosy not to!)  It's full of rubbish a lot of the time, but also lots of little gems, funny things and random links that are a major time suck but so addictive.

Every now and again though it throws up a gem, or in this case inspiration for a blog post...

Recently I saw a link to an 80's nostalgia website and this particular post was all about the 'Come and Praise' hymn book that surely every 80s kid held in their grubby little hands once upon a time.

(I couldn't find the original post, so I'm making my own!)

We used this book every morning in assembly throughout my primary school years. They were kept in a box and handed out at the door as we left the classroom to go to the 'Big Hall' for assembly.  There were many very battered copies in the box and a few brand new shiny ones. It was always a bit of a 'thing' to get one of the new ones!

I searched for 'Come and Praise' on youtube and was instantly transported back to those days,  sat cross-legged on the floor, or in later years having the privilege of sitting on actual chairs at the back of the hall - in the 4th year (year 6 for all you young ones out there!)  or in the 3rd year when the older ones were out.   Listening to whichever teacher was playing the piano to accompany our dulcet tones.

(Do schools still have pianos?  I'm guessing not,  maybe an ipod?!)

We never sung all of the hymns in there, I remember different teachers used to have their own favourites and you could usually guess which one we'd be singing by who was taking assembly.

I loved singing along with my favourites until I realised it was more 'cool' not to sing, and then instead you'd just mumble along, enough to not get told off for not singing if spotted by a teacher!

We never thought about the words particularly (well, not always but more on that in a moment) and it would possibly be too religious for schools these days?  I have no idea having nothing to do with UK primary schools since 1989!

I don't think our school wasn't a religious school as such, although thinking back we did have the local vicar come in quite often with his guitar!

Here are a few 'classics' that I came across on youtube,  I was surprised at how many of the words I could remember as they played.

Autumn Leaves

Autumn days, when the grass is jewelled
and the silk inside a chestnut shell
Jet planes waiting in the air to be refuelled
All these things I love so well
No, I mustn't forget,
No, I mustn't forget,
To say a great big thank you
I mustn't forget

One More Step Along The World I Go

One more step along the world I go
One more step along the world I go
One more step along the world I go
From the old things to the new
Keep me travelling along with you

Cross Over The Road

Cross over the road my friend
Ask the Lord his strength to lend
His compassion has no end
Cross over the road

When I Needed a Neighbour

When you needed a neighbour
where you there, where you there?
When you needed a neighbour
Where you there?

(I most remember everyone always sniggering at the line 'I was cold I was naked'   and I think in the end they actually told us we had to skip that verse, I have a feeling that everyone 'forgot' and in the end we were not allowed to sing this hymn!)

When a Knight Won His Spurs

When a Knight Won His Spurs in the stories of old
he was gentle and brave, he was gallant and bold
With a shield on his arm and a lance in his hand
For God and for valour he rode through the land.

My main memory of this is actually the poem by Allan Ahlberg which went to the same tune and changed out some of the lyrics to a teacher interupting her singing to tell off the class.

When a Knight Won His Spurs in the stories of old, he was 'FACE THE FRONT DAVID BRIGGS, WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN TOLD' 

Give Me Oil In My Lamp

Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning,
Give me oil in my lamp I pray,
Give me oil in my lamp keep me burning,
Keep me burning till the break of day

I remember everyone singing the 'Sing Hosan -NA' bits really loudly and stressing the ending, antoher thing that drove the teachers mad!

Of course there were more,
Morning has Broken,  never did like that one much,
Lord of The Dance - can't remember how much I liked it at the time but I like it now!  I loved Michael Flatley's (he of the independantly flailing legs) Lord Of The Dance so they kind of changed it a lot for me.
Kumbayah My Lord - what does that even mean?!  (ok, just googled it, it means 'Come by Here)
All Things Bright and Beautiful

Were you a child of the 80s? Let me know your favourite or tell me any classics I missed!


  1. Wow, this brings back good memories!!!!

  2. Thank you! I loved this! I remember all the hymns with fondness! Yes! Memories of the piano playing teacher...Mrs Chapman!
    A gem indeed! xxx

  3. OMG I loved singing these hyms my own children are coming home singing some of them at the moment and it's taking me right back. I'm rather excited about it and keep asking my kids do you sing this one? Oh and do you sing this one? So many favourites but we are climbing Jesus' ladder ladder I loved. I probably remember some of the numbers of the hyms too!

  4. I really want a copy of the book soooooo badly. X

    1. How much?, I have a copy personally signed when I left junior school in 86, I cannot find a another copy anywhere. I used to love singing these with friends, sometimes as a treat they would let us hear tales of Beatrix Potter on an old crackling grama phone, ahhh the memories x

    2. Thats how I stumbled here,by trying yo buy the book for my sister lol

    3. You can get the complete Come & Praise book (1&2) on Amazon for a fiver. I bought one last year and it brought back SO many memories!

  5. Spirit of God - sung to the tune of Skye Boat Song?

    You've got to move when the spirit says move. Bit of a funky tune (at least for a 7-year-old in the 80s!)

    He's got the whole world in his hands; although all the "naughty" kids sang, "He's got the whole world in his pants"

  6. The ink is black, the chalk is white. Together we learn to read and write, to read and write. Love those memories. Wish I could go back

  7. What’s this song - remember whatever race you’re in - you can’t always win

  8. Does anybody recall something along the lines of speck in your own eye log in your brothers. Couldnt find the actual song on YouTube or online.

  9. Many of the hymns are of dubious theology and when you listen as an adult make no sense at all... do kids really think of planes having air-to-air refuelling as the very essence of autumn and inspiring praise to God? Lots of very fond memories from listening to these though!

  10. Yes, I remember absolutely ALL of those memories that you mentioned. I also remember a hymn called ‘The Earth Is Yours Oh God’ (or something) and we used to emphasise the line ‘you nouriSH-IT with rain! 😂

  11. I almost feel like you was at my school lol!!! Thats the songs we sung, mostly. We never did absorb the words as kids and yes, far more 'cool' not to sing, than to sing. 4th years were simply God's, any year below were mere peasants lol.. those were the days. The happy simple life

  12. I remember pretty much every word of these songs. Although I belonged to another faith, so ing these Jesus songs didn't bother me one bit, in fact it was probability the best part of my entire 13 years at school. Here's my favorite from that book.
    Colours of day dawn into the mind, the sun has come up, the night is behind, go down in the city of to the street and let's give the message to the people we meet.
    So light up the fire and let the flame burn, open the door, let Jesus return. Sow seeds of his spirit, let the fruit grow, tell the people of Jesus: let his love show.

  13. Does anyone on here have any of the original blue books for Sale?

  14. We were eventually banned from singing “When a knight won his spurs” and “If I had a hammer” as all the boys would shout out Spurs or Hammer depending on whether they were Tottenham Hot Spurs or West Ham fans.

  15. Thank you for creating this and bringing back the memories!
    I still hum:
    'Join with us to song God's praise for his love and for his care'

    'Think of the world without any flowers..'

    'Gardener gardener...'

    The 80s were the best!


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