Nov 18, 2011

I Heard the Voice...

I love hearing new arrangements of old hymns. I love the old ones too. The hymn I'm sharing with you today is "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say", words by Horatius Bonar in 1886. I found several versions of it on YouTube (I'm sharing a few with you here.) I noticed that it's been called a Catholic hymn, a Baptist hymn, even an African American hymn. Isn't it cool that's found acceptance in many Christian settings? Bonar was born in Scotland in 1808, was an ordained minister, and wrote many religious lyrics. The third verse in the hymn sounds particularly Celtic to me.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Come unto me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down
Your head upon my breast."
I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary and worn and sad,
I found in him a resting place,
And he has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Behold, I freely give
The living water; thirsty one,
Stoop down and drink, and live."
I came to Jesus, and I drank
Of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in him.

 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"I am this dark world's Light;
Look unto me, your morn shall rise,
And all your day be bright."
I looked to Jesus, and I found
In him my Star, my Sun;
And in that light of life I'll walk,
Till trav'ling days are done.

Below are some very different versions. Enjoy and worship God!

First, probably the most traditional.

This one has a different tune but the same words. It finishes up with a foot stomping Amen chorus, so be sure to listen to the end.

This one might just be my favorite, although I love them all.


  1. Thank you Cindy for all the lovely versions. I agree with you that the third verse has a Celtic feel/spirit to it.

    Looking at the tune, the first one is the wonderful "Kingsfold" tune and I also have found reference on that the Irish tune: "Song of the Country Down" is sometimes use.

    Thanks again for great gift of music.

    Duncan Saunders

  2. Thanks for commenting, Duncan. Did you maybe mean "Star of the County Down?" As old as some of the Irish songs are, I imagine lyrics have been put to lots of tunes. Thanks again!

  3. Blush, blush...and I call myself a Celtic Harper!
    Of course I meant "Star of the Country Down".
    (And no, I had not been having a wee nip of the water of life which would have normally caused this memory lapse).

  4. No worries. Just a slip of the fingers.