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Vote: What’s the most iconic school hymn ever?

Surely it’s ‘Shine Jesus Shine’

You’re eleven years old. It’s raining outside and you’re in assembly. You’re thinking about swapping your Ready Salted Walkers for Sophie’s Quavers at break time. There's still 15 minutes of assembly left and you're afraid to move or breathe too deeply in case your stomach rumbles like last time. It's time to sing a hymn now. The pianist starts playing the first few notes of “Shine Jesus Shine” and you know you're about to have a good time. Next thing you know, there's stomping and clapping all over the place. Endorphins are rushing. Inject it. Inject the hymns into your veins. Nothing matters now. Life is good.

But which was the most iconic hymn you used to sing at school?

He's Got The Whole World in His Hands

This hymn was as simple as ABC. You didn't even need your hymn book for it, it's basically repeating similar lines over and over again.

All Things Bright and Beautiful

If you don’t know this absolute banger, click out of this article right now. Because it’s bread and butter of school hymns.

On This Day Earth Shall Ring

This one sounds a bit sinister at first but then it goes into the major chords and you feel like you’ve just taken a pill. This hymn is an entire journey.


You didn’t know you were patriotic until you sang this hymn. And then the next think you knew, you’re signed up your local rugby team… and then the army.

Shine Jesus Shine

This is it. The grand finale. The glittering centrepiece of your assembly and your one chance to show the entire school every inch of your tonsils. You belted this motherfucker out for every penny you were worth and when you hit that final chorus it felt like you were Alexandra Burke winning X Factor, sparks showering down behind you and Cheryl Cole (i.e. your mum) beaming at you from afar. Halcyon days.

When I Needed a Neighbour

Big shoutout to everyone who laughed at “I was cold I was naked, were you there, were you there?”

Lord of the Dance

This is a bit of a hippy dippy bop, very pagan vibes. The type of hymn that made you feel like you were dancing around a fire in an open field.

Give Me Oil In My Lamp

I’ll be real with you I had no idea what this song was based on its title alone, and that’s because the version I sang in school was “Give Me Joy In My Heart.” They don’t put oil in lamps anymore. Time truly is a cruel mistress. Anyway, this song is a safe bet for halfway through assembly to wake your parents up a bit, but never the showstopper.

Colours of Day

This one sounds really good as a football chant. SO LIGHT UP THE FIRE AND LET THE FLAME BURN. OPEN THE DOOR, LET JESUS RETURN!!!

Cauliflowers Fluffy, and Cabbages Green

Cast your mind back to September, when a Liverpool student once dropped an acapella rendition down his course chat, as if you needed any more assurance you should vote for this unit of a song right now.

Kumbaya My Lord

Welcome to Bible study we’re all children of Jesus. Sorry but I can’t listen to this song and not imagine some youth pastor called Joseph singing an acoustic version of it while his wife (who he married when they were both 20) watches on lovingly. Absolute veto.

Follow Me, Follow me

In hindsight it was probably a little bizarre to have a room full of kids happily chanting about leaving your family. Quite culty if you ask me.

This Little Light of Mine

Bit of a level one hymn right here, and I’m sorry if that offends you but it’s the truth. No demanding high notes. No clapping. Let’s be real this belongs in year 2.

The Lord is My Shepherd

The most beautiful hymn in the world. I'm not crying, you're crying.

Sing It In The Valleys

Lotta high notes in this belter right here. Even a young Mariah would have probably needed a green tea after this one. Look at that rogue “oh” – truly the best ad-lib to have ever been ad-libbed.

Gloriah (In Excelsis Deo)

Look as a rule Latin is lame, and I don’t even know what any of the words in the title of this song mean, but there’s always an exception to prove the rule and this song is that exception. DJ drop that shit (in excelsis deo).

Hark The Herald Angels Sing

A perfect Christmas hymn to get everyone’s holiday spirit going. A shame if you couldn’t hit those high notes though.

One More Step Along The World I Go

It's just a bit basic isn't it?

I The Lord of Sea and Sky

This is a vintage, gold-plated banger. No questions asked. If primary school hymns had a weekly chart this would have been number one from 1972-2009. Get the poppers out.

From The Tiny Ant

TO THE ELEPHANT!!! If the Meryl Streep yelling meme was a hymn, it would be this hymn.

Spring Chicken

This was the Easter banger. I’m still a real spring chicken, and I’m still having a ball. Hats off you still do the dance.

Wake Up!

If this song didn’t get you ready for the day and energised, nothing can. Best line? ‘Raise a shout (Hey!)’. Only year sixes were cool enough to shout the hey, obviously.

If I Were a Butterfly

Tbh, I would not thank the lord for making me a butterfly because they literally only live for about 12 months and then they DIE. Thanks a lot, God. Yeeesh.

Featured image: via Flickr by Herefordshire Council.

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