The song of Joseph Priestley

I am a Unitarian.
Joe Priestley is my name.
I am a strict one-Godder
who from West Riding came.
I preached the Word at Nantwich,
in Leeds and Birmingham;
but now I live in exile,
American, I am.

For wanting human freedom
they burned my chapel down.
They said I was seditious
and drove me from the town.
Briefly I fled to London.
At Hackney I was heard,
and now in Pennyslvania
I'm still preaching the Word.

In science and other subjects
great interest I've displayed.
Oxygen I discovered,
first soda water made.
In history I'm a doctor.
In electricity
I've published all my findings.
I've taught academy.

Now all you who come after
both sides th' Atlantic sea,
remember what I've taught you,
that God is one not three;
that Jesus was God's prophet
a person like yourself,
and even human sinners
God takest to himself.

Andrew M. Hill (February 1983) for 250th anniversary of Joseph Priestley's birth; revised (February 2004) for 250th anniversary of his death.

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