Hymn Story: What wondrous love is this?
What wondrous love is this? Was published in 1811 and considered a Christian folk hymn. It was very popular during the Second Great Awakening.
It was first published in the camp meeting songbook A General Selection of the Newest and Most Admired Hymns and Spiritual Songs Now in Use in Virginia.
Most sources attribute the tune to “The Ballad of Captain Kidd”, a 1701 English song. However, the melody is known to predate this popular piece.
Charles F. Bryan included the song in his 1952 folk opera Singin’ Billy.
The United Methodist Hymnal became the first standard hymnal to include the song in it’s 1966 edition.
The lyrics are reminiscent of the text found in John 3:16.