Welcome!  Hymns have been and continue to be a real source of inspiration to me.  My desire in this blog is to share special hymns with my readers hoping that the words will minister to them, especially in times of great personal need.  If one of these hymns ministers to you, please take time to leave a comment so that I know that my blog is helping others as much as it helps me. Sometimes I will also provide a link where you can go to hear the hymn played.  So, please join me here each week and sing along as we praise God together.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

O THEN TO THE ROCK LET ME FLY

I am continuing to feature hymns that I remember singing when our church was established 60 years ago. I am taking them from an old hymnal "Glorious Gospel Hymns" that is so old and battered that I can't even find the name of the publisher or the date of publication. And as I try to do some research on the writing of many of these old hymns I am finding out that there isn't much available. However, the one that I've chosen this week does have some written history and maybe it is appropriate for today since it was written during the American financial panic of 1871. I am told that there was a convention of the YMCA in Carlisle, PA, and Erastus Johnson was one of the delegates. John Wanamaker was president of the convention and on the second day he received a telegram telling him that the banking house of Jay Cook & Co. had failed. Wanamaker lost $70,000 in this failure and that was a huge amount in those days. Soon other reports were received that other financial firms around the country had failed and that the country was in a general panic. This news created an atmosphere of gloom over the convention because most of the delegates were business men. Reacting to this unexpected situation, Johnson penned the words of this hymn. William Fisher, a composer of many gospel hymns, was there and was leading some of the singing. He took the words and quickly put them to music. The new song was sung at the convention where it helped comfort those in attendance, as it has done for many believers since that day. So if you are facing problems today, and your path is rough and filled with shadows and sorrows, then fly to the "Rock that is higher than I". There you will find comfort, strength and protection.

(1) Oh! sometimes the shadows are deep,
And rough seems the path to the goal,
And sorrows, sometimes how they sweep
Like tempests down over the soul.
O then to the Rock let me fly
To the Rock that is higher than I
O then to the Rock let me fly
To the Rock that is higher than I!

(2) Oh! sometimes how long seems the day,
And sometimes how weary my feet!
But toiling in life's dusty way,
The Rock's blessed shadow, how sweet!
O then to the Rock let me fly
To the Rock that is higher than I
O then to the Rock let me fly
To the Rock that is higher than I!

(3) Then near to the Rock let me keep
If blessings or sorrows prevail,
Or climbing the mountain way steep,
Or walking the shadowy vale.
O then to the Rock let me fly
To the Rock that is higher than I
O then to the Rock let me fly
To the Rock that is higher than I!

I have two versions for you to listen to. The first one includes the words and will be especially appreciated by those who don't know this hymn. LISTEN

Here is an instrumental version which I've really enjoyed. I'd like to pick up my trombone and play along - except I haven't picked it up in many years. LISTEN

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hope you don't mind in I post a link to your blog on my facebook. This is a song I remember knowing at 1 time, but since our congregation hasn't sung it, I thought it would be a good "new" song. I like you think it has a message that if very fitting for our times.