Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958): I heard the voice of Jesus say

This hymn was was written by a Scots minister Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) who was famous for his pastoral work directed at children. He wrote ‘I heard the voice of Jesus say’ the text of which is based upon Matthew 11: 28 in 1846 three years after the forsook  the Church of Scotland for the Free Church of Scotland. The setting below by was arranged by Vaughan Williams arranged it for The English Hymnal of 1906 using the melody of ‘Kingsfold’, an old English folksong whose melody he discovered in an anthology entitled ‘English Country Songs’ compiled by Lucy E Broadwood and J A Fuller Maitland published in 1893. Enjoy :-).


Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) & Robert Quinney (b1976): I heard the voice of Jesus say

Westminster Abbey Choir conducted by James O’Donnell. 
Robert Quinney – organ.
Jonathan Brown – bass

Text: I heard the voice of Jesus say

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
‘Come unto me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down
Thy 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 quench’d, my soul reviv’d,
And now I live in him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
‘I am this dark world’s light;
Look unto me, thy morn shall rise,
And all thy 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 travelling days are done.

Horatius Bonar (1808-1889): after Matthew 11: 28

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