Nearer my God to Thee Lyrics

Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer to thee!
E'en though it be a cross
That raiseth me.
Still all my song shall be

(Chorus)
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer to thee!

Though like the wanderer,
The sun gone down,
Darkness be over me,
My rest a stone,
Yet in my dreams I'd be

There let the way appear,
Steps unto heav'n;
All that thou sendest me,
In mercy giv'n;
Angels to beckon me

Then with my waking thoughts
Bright with thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs
Bethel I'll raise;
So by my woes to be

Or if, on joyful wing
Cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot,
Upward I fly,
Still all my song shall be

Nearer my God to Thee Video


The Story Behind "Nearer, My God To Thee"

"Nearer, My God, to Thee" is a 19th-century Christian hymn by Sarah Flower Adams, which retells the story of Jacob's dream. Genesis 28:11–12 can be translated as follows: "So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it..."

The hymn is well known, among other uses, as the alleged last song the band on RMS Titanic played before the ship sank and was sung by the crew and passengers of the SS Valencia as it sank off the Canadian coast in 1906.

The verse was written by the English poet and Unitarian hymn writer Sarah Flower Adams at her home "Sunnybank", in Loughton, Essex, England, in 1841. It was first set to music by Adams's sister, the composer Eliza Flower, for William Johnson Fox's collection Hymns and Anthems.

In the United Kingdom, the hymn is usually associated with the 1861 hymn tune "Horbury" by John Bacchus Dykes, named for a village near Wakefield, England, where Dykes had found "peace and comfort". In the rest of the world, the hymn is usually sung to the 1856 tune "Bethany" by Lowell Mason. British Methodists prefer the tune "Propior Deo" (Nearer to God), written by Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert and Sullivan) in 1872. Sullivan wrote a second setting of the hymn to a tune referred to as "St. Edmund". Mason's tune has also penetrated the British repertoire.

The Methodist Hymn Book of 1933 includes Horbury and two other tunes, "Nearer To Thee" (American) and "Nearer, My God, To Thee" (T C Gregory, 1901–?),while its successor Hymns and Psalms of 1983 uses Horbury and "Wilmington" by Erik Routley.

Words by Sarah F. Adams
Music by Lowell Mason



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