Sweet Jesus

There is a popular urban myth that says that Charles Wesley wrote his hymns to well known bar tunes of the day.  While he didn’t, it is true that William Booth the founder of the Salvation Army and Fanny Crosby, a writer of over 9000 hymns did so.

According to Apologetix, 

“Satan would have to be battled within his own strongholds, and any means was justifiable, William decided, if it would attract sinners to listen to the message of salvation … Thus it was that as the work grew, the music and street parades attracted increasing crowds of people who scorned the regular churches. ‘Why should the devil have all the best tunes?’ Williamreplied when chided for appropriating music of popular tunes for his hymns … “
“The saying that ‘the devil has no right to all the good tunes’ has been attributed to both William Booth and Charles Spurgeon. But it was George Scott Railton, who was to become William’s lieutenant general in 1873 and was well-known as an author and songwriter, who concluded an article ‘About Singing’ (1874) with this impassioned plea: ‘Oh, let us rescue this precious instrument from the clutches of the devil, and make it, as it may be made, a bright and lively power for good!'”

A couple of days ago Neil Diamonds song, Sweet Caroline came to mind, and it kept playing in my mind over and over again. Now, its common knowledge that I am not much of a singer, and can’t play a musical instrument. But, with much gusto I sang this song with a few minor tweaks to the words.

I changed the words of Sweet Caroline to Sweet Jesus, Father God, and Holy Spirit.

Where it began
I can’t begin to knowin’
But then I know it’s growin’ strong

Was in the spring
And spring became the summer
Who’d have believed you’d come along

Words, touchin’ hearts
Reachin’ out
Touchin’ me
Touchin’ you

Father God – Good times never seemed so good
I’ve been inclined
To believe they never would

But now I look at the night
And it don’t seem so lonely
We fill it up with only two
And when I hurt
Hurtin’ runs off my shoulders
How can I hurt when I’m with you

My heart is strangely warmed by you,

Reachin’ out
Touchin’ me
Touchin’ you

Sweet Jesus – Good times never seemed so good
I’ve been inclined
To believe they never would
Oh, no, no

Holy Spirit  – Good times never seemed so good
I’ve been inclined
I believed they never could
Father God.

Have you started to sing it to the tune… pretty catchy I think.

About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
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4 Responses to Sweet Jesus

  1. David McKay says:

    Craig, you said William Booth and Fanny Crosby used bar tunes of the day. Can you tell us more about this, please?
    I’m not sure it’s true.
    Also, the main problem with the popular myth is that people don’t know what a bar tune is. [It has nothing to do with pubs, but the structure of the tune.]

    I have not previously read anywhere that Fanny Crosby used popular secular tunes in her hymns.

    The Wikipedia article shows that she wrote secular songs, but not hymns to secular tunes.

    But this article shows that the Salvation Army did use secular tunes, though Booth is not cited as a hymn writer.

    • Craig Benno says:

      David. I drew my information from the Apologetix site which I linked to and quoted from.

      Your right about the terminology of “Bar Tune” – which I would expect you to be 🙂 I think this same article says the same, or I might have read it elsewhere this morning about what “Bar Tune” really meant. I’m willing to be corrected about Fanny Crosby.

      Btw, what did you think of my tweaking?

  2. David McKay says:

    Jesus doesn’t scan overly well

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