Be Thou My Vision is a popular Christian hymn based on a poem by Dallán Forgaill. It was translated by Mary Elizabeth Byrne and then given verses by Eleanor Hull. In this post, we cover the guitar chords you can use for this song, sheet music for the melody including tabs, and also a finger style guitar arrangement.
How to read the guitar chord charts
To clarify how to read the chord charts, the top horizontal line represents the high E string and the bottom horizontal line represents the low E string. The vertical lines separate each fret. The numbers in the blue dots tell you which fingers to use on the fretting hand.
For example, on the C Major chord, you use the:
- 1st finger on the 2nd string, 1st fret
- 2nd finger on the 4th string, 2nd fret
- 3rd finger on the 5th string, 3rd fret
- Circles represent open strings
- X means to avoid the string
You can check this link for more on how to read guitar notation symbols.
Be Thou My Vision guitar chords
The guitar chords you can use for this song in the key of C Major are C Major, F Major, G Major, A minor, and C/E. You can click on the chords with links to learn different ways of playing that chord.
Try the following chords one at a time until you feel comfortable switching between them. These chords will be written above the melody in the next section.
Here are some other resources on chords:
- What are the first chords you should learn on guitar?
- 6 tips to get better at switching between chords on guitar
- 13 ways to play an F chord on guitar.
- How to read slash chords on guitar
Be Thou My Vision – Melody with tabs and chords
For the sheet music below, keep in mind that the chords and melody are meant to be played as separate parts. We’ll look at how to connect these parts later in the arrangement section of this post.
The numbers next to some notes on the top staff indicate which fingers to use on the fretting hand. You can refer to this simple guide to understanding music symbols if needed.
Be Thou My Vision lyrics
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word;
I ever with thee, and thou with me, Lord.
Born of thy love, thy child may I be,
thou in me dwelling and I one with thee.
Be thou my buckler, my sword for the fight.
Be thou my dignity, thou my delight,
thou my soul’s shelter, thou my high tow’r.
Raise thou me heav’nward, O Pow’r of my pow’r.
Riches I heed not, nor vain empty praise;
thou mine inheritance, now and always.
Thou and thou only, first in my heart,
Ruler of heaven, my treasure thou art.
*True Light of heaven, when vict’ry is won
may I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heav’n’s Sun!
Heart of my heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.
*Alternate phrase: “High King”
Reference: Be Thou My Vision. hymnary.org
Be Thou My Vision – guitar arrangement
In this section, we are essentially connecting the melody and chords together using a finger picking method of playing. If needed, check out this post to learn how to finger pick on guitar.
If you like this style of playing, you can check out this post to learn how to connect a melody and chords on guitar.
Get the free guitar practice guide here!
Want to learn more songs? Check out the sheet music with guitar tabs resource on this site.
All the best,