Behind the Song: I Bowed on My Knees and Cried Holy

I Bowed on My Knees and Cried Holy is a beautiful contemporary song that expresses how we will feel when we reach heaven. The song was written by Nettie {Neith} Dudley Washington and the music was written by E.M. Dudley Cantwell. The tune is known as Cried Holy. The song was published in 1977. The song has been published in […]

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Behind the Song: Just a Little Talk with Jesus

Just a Little Talk with Jesus is one of those songs I love to warm up with when sitting down to play the piano. Many quartets love to sing this song and have fun with it. The song was written by Rev. Cleavant Derricks, pastor of a small African-American church in Alabama. Cleavant Derricks was born On May 13, 1910 […]

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Behind the Song: He is My Everything

If you’ve listened to any of Elvis Presley’s gospel songs, you may have heard him sing, He is My Everything. The song was written by Dallas Frazier. Dallas Frazier is an American country musician and songwriter. He was born on October 27, 1939 in Oklahoma. He stated in an interview that he began writing music when he was about 11 […]

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Behind the Christmas Carol: While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks is a Christmas carol that describes the angels appearance to the shepherds as described in Luke 2:8-14. The song was written by Nahum Tate, who was England’s poet Laureate, and an Irish hymnists.  He is best known for his adaptation of William Shakespeare’s King Lear.   While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks is the only Christmas […]

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Behind the Song: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day was a Christmas poem {turned hymn} written in the mist of the Civil War in 1863 by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The song begins with the narrator in despair and ends with a note of hope and renewal. Earlier in 1863, Longfellow’s oldest son, Charles Appleton Longfellow, had joined the Union army without his […]

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Behind the Hymn: Angels from the Realms of Glory

Angels from the Realms of Glory was written by Scottish poet James Montgomery. James Montgomery was born on November 4, 1771 in Scotland to Irish parents.  His father, John Montgomery, was the only Moravian pastor serving in Scotland at the time. When James was five, his parents left him with a Moravian group in County Atrium, Ireland while they went […]

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Behind the Song: Mary, Did You Know

             Mary, Did You Know? is a popular Christmas song that was written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene.  The song originated from Lowry’s desire to ask Mary, “what was it like to raise God?” Mary Lowry is a popular comedienne that has also been a member of the Gaither Vocal Band off and on […]

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Behind the Song: Breath of Heaven

Breath of Heaven {Mary’s Song} is another contemporary Christmas song, that has become a much loved favorite. The song is written from Mary’s view point.  The song starts with why she may have been chosen. The song was written by Chris Eaton. Eaton was friends with Amy Grant and a member of her touring band.   She was preparing to go […]

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Behind the Hymn: I Saw Three Ships

  I Saw Three Ships {Come Sailing In} is a traditional and popular Christmas carol from England. The hymn was published in 1833 by William Sandys in his book, Christmastide: Its History, Festivities And Carols.   However, it is believed that earlier versions may have been around from the 17th Century. Other sources believe the hymn originated from an English folk […]

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Behind the Song: Give Thanks with a Thankful heart

In honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I thought we would look at the popular worship song Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart. Give Thanks was written in 1978 by Henry Smith. Henry Smith, Jr. was born in 1952 Crossnore, North Carolina. Henry Smith has a degenerative condition that left him legally blind. Upon graduating from college, he became discouraged […]

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Behind the Hymn: Morning Has Broken

Morning Has Broken is a popular hymn that was written by Eleanor Farjeon. Farjeon was born on February 13, 1881 in London, England.  She came from a literary family and was an author of children’s stories and plays, among numerous other literary pursuits. Known as ‘Nellie’ to her immediate family, she was a sickly child who suffered from poor eyesight […]

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Behind the Hymn: Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise

  Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise was written by Walter Chalmers Smith, a pastor of the Free Church of Scotland. Smith was born on December 5, 1824 in Aberdeen, Scotland.  He studied at the University of Aberdeen and New College in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was an ordained minister at Chadwell Street Scottish Church in London and several churches in Glasgow […]

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Behind the Hymn: Brighten the Corner Where You Are

Brighten the Corner Where You Are is a hymn we do not hear in church as often today as we used to.  Yet, it has a catchy tune and wonderful message. The hymn was written by Ina Mae Duley Ogdon. Ogdon was born on April 3, 1872 to William and Laetitia Wilson Ogdon in Rossville, Illinois.  She wrote her first […]

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Behind the Hymn: O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go

O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go was written by George Matheson. Matheson was born on March 27, 1842, in Glasgow, Scotland to George and Jane Matheson.  At the age of twenty, he was engaged to be married and studying for the ministry.  He discovered that he was going blind when his fiancée told him she could not go […]

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Behind the Hymn: And Can It Be, That I Should Gain

  And Can It Be is one of the better-known hymns written by Charles Wesley. According to The Oxford Edition of the Works of John Wesley, the song was written immediately after the conversion of Charles Wesley. Charles Wesley was born on December 18, 1707 to Samuel and Susannah Wesley.  Charles was the eighteenth of nineteen children born to the […]

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Behind the Song: You Are My King {Amazing Love}

You Are My King {Amazing Love} is a contemporary song that has become very popular. The song talks about God’s amazing love for us, how we are forgiven, and how Jesus is our King and he loved us enough to die for us on the cross.  This sacrifice is the amazing love the song refers to. The song was written […]

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Behind the Song: Holy Ground

Holy Ground is a song that once again shows the power of God. Geron Davis was nineteen years old when his minister father ask him to write a song for the new building their church was dedicating in Savannah, Tennessee. Weeks before the dedication his father asked him to write a song and Davis kept meaning to, but either inspiration […]

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Behind the Hymn: Lord Lift My Feet on Higher Ground

Lord Lift My Feet on Higher Ground was written by Johnson Oatman, Jr. Oatman was born on April 21, 1856 in Medford, New Jersey.   He was a businessman and wrote over 5,000 hymns in his spare time.  He did not begin writing hymns until he was 36 years old and was never paid for more than $1.00 for any of […]

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Behind the Hymn: Moment by Moment

Moment by Moment was another hymn written by Major Daniel Webster Whittle. He is also the author of I Know Whom I Have Believed. Ira Sankey recounted that while at the World’s Fair in Chicago, Rev. Henry Varley stated “I do not like the hymn, I Need Thee Every Hour.  I need him Moment by Moment.” Major Whittle was impressed […]

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Behind the Hymn: I Know Whom I Have Believed

I Know Whom I Have Believed was written by Major Daniel Webster Whittle. Daniel Webster Whittle was born on November 22, 1840 in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts.  He was named for the politician and founder of the dictionary, Daniel Webster. Whittle was very religious as a young man and worked as a cashier for Wells Fargo Bank. In 1861, he joined […]

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