0

In the song Faith of the Heart, as in its title, you have two nouns connected with the preposition of. Please consider the following segment for instance:

Cause I've got faith of the heart.
I'm going where my heart will take me.
I've got faith to believe.
I can do anything.
I've got strength of the soul.
And no one's going to bend or break me.

[ Faith of the Heart, by Diane Warren, for movie and television (sample) ]

It's formatted in a way that feels indicative of the material of substance (of the second term), but I think it's rather the origin, like with the preposition from. At the same time it doesn't use a personal pronoun i.e. it's not faith in my heart; neither is it I have a faithful heart. What I'm trying to describe seems to be further emphasized by the fact you have the verb to have (I've got) i.e. it's not to be as in I'm strong of/with the soul, it's not phrased as an attribute but rather as something you possess/hold.


  1. Why is it of and not from the heart/soul; is it really about the origin; is the type of origin better suited for either preposition in this very case or is it just a choice?
  2. What does using to have do here that to be doesn't/couldn't do; is that to undergo; does the native speaker pick up the bill of materials feeling or any other connotation with this sort of phrasing?
  3. Can you provide an idiomatic and/or well known example of this
    sort of [ to have + noun + of + noun ] construction (without a personal pronoun) which would better showcase its meaning and whether there's more to this than the sum of its parts (1+2)?
  • 2
    It's a song lyric. Writers use all kinds of devices to force the lyrics into a metrical scheme. The verb to have in I've got was used for that reason. There's no grammatical significance there. Same with faith of the heart as opposed to my heart is faithful or similar. It's just a poetic equivalance with strength of the soul. – P. E. Dant Oct 13 '16 at 0:24
  • @P.E.Dant Thank you, your comment is somewhat reassuring. I completely understand the use of such devices as those you speak of in context. Nevertheless, as often, this is just an opportunity to explore the language. If you want, you may state in an answer that there is no distinct grammatical significance to such a construction. I thought I had picked up on something which I wasn't familiar with. Thank you! – user16335 Oct 13 '16 at 0:38
  • 1
    It may well be that someone else will detect some deep grammatical significance in the lyric and provide an answer more insightful than my desultory comment. Don't give up yet. – P. E. Dant Oct 13 '16 at 0:41
  • @P.E.Dant Thanks, I hear you. I'm much less worried about grammar as the question seems to imply. I guess in some way I'm incidentally asking indeed is that my heart is faithful or something along the lines of I'm feeling faith flowing through my heart, which is somewhat different I would think. Is saying I have faith of the heart for my heart is faithful less idiomatic, old or imprecise? Anyways, we'll see. Thanks! – user16335 Oct 13 '16 at 1:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy