A traditional African-American spiritual, based on text in Jeremiah in the old testament. "Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?" The hymn answers his question - there is healing in Gilead through the Holy Spirit.

Gilead, near the river Jordan, was famed for its physicians and also for a balm made from a tree particular to the area. The balm was renowned far and wide for its healing powers.

The tune is very uplifting. I always feel strangely triumphant after we sing it in my choir.

There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin sick soul.

Some times I feel discouraged,
And think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit
Revives my soul again.


If you can’t preach like Peter,
If you can’t pray like Paul,
Just tell the love of Jesus,
And say He died for all.


Alternate last verse:
If you cannot sing like angels
If you cannot preach like Paul
You can share the love of Jesus
And tell He died for all.

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