Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Water Is Wide


For a few years now I have really enjoyed the song entitled The Water is Wide. When listening to the melody though a thought of having heard it before but with "Christian" words sung to it. My search led me to Wikipedia and the revelation that there are at least four different sets of lyrics sung to the same tune. Two more religious set of lyrics are When I Survey The Wondrous Cross and The Gift of Love.

I was glad to find these lyrics because the ones to The Water is Wide though lovely are very sad:

The water is wide, I cannot get o'er
Neither have I wings to fly
Give me a boat that can carry two
And both shall row, my love and I

A ship there is and she sails the sea
She's loaded deep as deep can be
But not so deep as the love I'm in
I know not if I sink or swim

I leaned my back against an oak
Thinking it was a trusty tree
But first it bent and then it broke
So did my love prove false to me

Oh love be handsome and love be kind
Gay as a jewel when first it is new
But love grows old and waxes cold
And fades away like the morning dew

When cockle shells turn silver bells
Then will my love come back to me
When roses bloom in winter's gloom
Then will my love return to me

On the other hand the lyrics to The Gift of Love which were penned by Hal H. Hopson in 1972 are much more encouraging and challenging. The idea for the lyrics comes from 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter.

Though I may speak with bravest fire,
And have the gift to all inspire,
And have not love, my words are vain,
As sounding brass, and hopeless gain.

Though I may give all I possess,
And striving so my love profess,
But not be given by love within,
The profit soon turns strangely thin.

Come, Spirit, come, our hearts control,
Our spirits long to be made whole.
Let inward love guide every deed;
By this we worship, and are freed.

What a good prayer to sing, and I've certainly been singing it as I go about my work with the Alzheimer's residents. We have one lady who has been very trying lately and I've been singing to her while I've been helping her instead of grumbling at her. "Let inward love guide every deed..."



Andrea said...

Laurie, I am enjoying your blog. I love old-fashioned things, so it's a great place to be. "The Water is Wide" is beautiful, yet sad. God bless you for working with Alzheimer's. Take care.

Violavic said...

Thank you for this post ... I have learned this lovely melody on guitar and was hoping for a Christian version to play in Church. Perfect ! Much appreciated.

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