Hymn Story: This Is My Father’s World

This Is My Father’s World was written by Maltbie Davenport Babcock in 1901.

          Babcock was a minister living in Lockport, New York. He enjoyed taking frequent walks along the Niagara Escarpment which provided a “panoramic vista of upstate New York scenery and Lake Ontario.”  Upon leaving for his walk, he would tell his wife Katherine, he was “going out to see the Father’s world”.

Maltbie D. Babcock

          After his death in 1901, Katherine published a compilation of his writings titled Thoughts for Every-Day Living.  The poem “My Father’s World” was included in this compilation and contained sixteen stanzas, each consisting of four lines each.

          Franklin L. Sheppard, a close friend of Babcock’s, set the poem to music in 1915. The tune, which was adapted from a traditional English melody he learned as a child, is called Terra Beata and means “Blessed earth” in Latin.

          The song is a reminder to savor and enjoy the beautiful world our Father has given us.

To all our Father’s–HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!


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