Song of a Preacher

Ronald D. Dennis, trans. and ed., Defending the Faith: Early Welsh Missionary Publications (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2003).

P3 [DAVIS, John.] Cân pregethwr. (Song of a preacher.) Merthyr Tydfil: Printed by John Davis, 1849.

1 p. 17 cm. Welsh Mormon Writings 25.

This song contains nineteen stanzas of four lines each, plus a chorus that was to be sung after each stanza. Although John Davis does not indicate his name anywhere on the broadside, immediately under the title is this idenfication clue: “By the author of ‘A dialogue between the reverend and the boy.’” Because of the success of A dialogue and also because of his position as editor of a periodical with a circulation of about 1,500, Davis himself had gained considerable renown. Possibly for this reason he deemed it unnecessary to attach his name to Song of a preacher.

The wording of Song of a preacher is very clever, and the rhythm is light. A preacher is singing throughout, in ballad fashion, about his efforts to convince others of his message. Mormon or Mormonism is not specifically mentioned, however.

Song of a Preacher. By the author of the “Dialogue Between the Reverend and the Boy.”

I am now in the mood for singing a song,

If that will not be too big an offense;

Solomon sang before this,

Then I will sing now.


Oh, lend your ears now,

And listen very carefully;

And judge what is bad and good,

Wrong or right.

A preacher am I who is in the world,

With a message for his God;

But some say that I am an imposter,

And the rest, “He is a stupid man.”

Oh, lend your ears now, &c.

Well, I am truly a servant of God,

Ministering in the world;

But others claim the same right,

Completely contradicting everything.

Oh, lend your ears now, &c.

One says that baptism is by immersion,

And the other is for sprinkling;

In the name of everything, tell me,

Who sent such men?

Oh, lend your ears now, &c.

What noble servant in the world,

Does not know his own message?

Tell me, is he duller than

All the servants of Heaven’s King?

Oh, lend your ears now, &c.

Peter promised, in his day,

The gift of the Holy Ghost to “all;”

But the “servants of God” now say,

That the gift is completely gone.

Oh, lend your ears now, &c.

The Spirit of God, in days of yore,

Led everyone to the truth;

But now the Reverends testify,

That such was not the case for long.

Oh, lend your ears now, &c.

Some insist they follow Paul,

While believing completly opposite,

And argue that the gifts of God

Are not to be had in every age.

Oh, lend your ears now, &c.

If the “prophecy” of old is gone,

If “tongues” have turned to naught,

If that which is “in part” has gone away,

That which is “perfect” is in force.

Oh, lend your ears now, &c.

If so, it is not the servants of God

Who see “in part” now;

They’ll no longer look up through a glass

Without the image coming back down.

Oh, lend your ears now, &c.

If there is no longer need for “revelation,”

If this is the age of light,

It is now time for all the servants

To agree with God’s plan.

Oh, lend your ears now, &c.

If to show the truth of Christ’s religion,

Was the purpose of “miracles” then;

Well, should they not, don’t you think,

Show its truth along its way?

Oh, lend your ears now, &c.

If all the scriptures are deceit,

With hardly a clear word in them;

Should the college, or the Holy Ghost,

Be the one to clarify them?

Oh, lend your ears now, &c.

Nearly all the preachers now believe,

That no one is “called” by God,

But one just goes and learns the trade,

To arrange a way to live.

Oh, lend your ears now, &c.

For me and them to be God’s servants,

Is something really strange;

They call me an evil “Satan,”

While they are full of grace!

Oh, lend your ears now, &c.

If we are all God’s servants,

We shall all believe his word,

That “these signs” will follow

All believers of the word.

Oh, lend your ears now, &c.

And all who believe Him,

Will know that He is truthful;

And that heaven and earth will pass,

Before God’s words fail.

Oh, lend your ears now, &c.

But to bring this debate to a close,

Before I finish my song,

Tell me who of God’s servants

Promise the Holy Ghost?

Oh, lend your ears now, &c.

No one now—Peter did before,

And he was proved truthful;

Well, do what I shall teach you,

And you will prove me right.

Oh, lend your ears now, &c.