Sarah Flower Adams (1805-1848)

A popular Protestant hymn on both sides of the Atlantic, written in 1841. In America , it was usually set to the melody "Bethany" by Lowell Mason. In Britain Episcopals set it to "Horbury" by John B. Dykes, while Methodists preferred "Propior Deo" ("Nearer to God") by Sir Arthur Sullivan of Gilbert and Sullivan fame.

Legend has it that this was the last song played by the band on the Titanic, though many witnesses recall the song "Autumn" instead. Wallace Hartley, the ship’s bandleader, was fond of the tune and wanted it played at his funeral, so it seems appropriate. The opening words are enscribed on his tombstone.

E'en though it be a cross
That raiseth me;
Still all my song would be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

Though like the wanderer,
The sun gone down,
Darkness be over me,
My rest alone.
Yet in my dreams I'd be
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

There let the way appear
Steps unto heav'n;
All that Thou sendest me
In mercy giv'n;
Angels to beckon me
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

Then, with my waking thoughts
Bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs
Bethel I'll raise;
So by my woes to be
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

Or if on joyful wing,
Cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot,
Upwards I fly,
Still all my song shall be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

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