Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Little Night Music, Part IV: Abide with Me

I have notice subtle variations in the text with a few of these selections of Abide with Me. A hymn text in public domain is often changed to suit the needs of the individual, group or denomination.

Sometimes religious references are removed entirely (not so in these cases).

Sometimes the theology of one individual or denomination does not match the theology in a hymn.

Still other times changes are made for cultural reasons, like updating Elizabethan English or using "folk" instead of "man" in reference to people in general. Some go so far as to remove gender entirely whether it references humans or God (I don't think that happened with these).

The first two videos are the same setting, but both have altered the text to some extent. As you listen through each video, perhaps you will find more.

Anyways, here is the text of all eight verses of Abide with Me. I don't think any of these recordings covered all eight verses, but you can sing them yourself for your personal devotion.


Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

The Choir of Michigan Lutheran Seminary, Saginaw, Michigan


Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale


Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

RattlerMan's Wife and Daughter


Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.

The Webb Family


Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

Mahalia Jackson


I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

Hayley Westenra


I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

The Voices of the Valley Men's Chorus


Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

St. Paul's Cathedral
Abide with Me with Schubert's Holy, Holy, Holy

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