Both the words and music are of English authors. But the song has been a favorite of generations of Americans drawn by the song’s expression of longing for God’s presence, forgiveness of sin, fount of “every blessing”.
Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing
..is a Christian hymn written by the 18th century pastor and hymnist Robert Robinson. Robert Robinson penned the words at age 22 in the year 1757. The words of the hymn are in the public domain.
In the USA, the hymn is usually set to an American folk tune known as Nettleton, composed by printer John Wyeth, or possibly by Asahel Nettleton. In the UK, the hymn is also often set to the tune Normandy by C Bost. The Nettleton tune is used extensively in partial or full quotation by the American composer Charles Ives, in such works as the First String Quartet and the piano quintet and song “The Innate.”The song has gained a degree of popularity in recent years, in large part due to an arrangement by Mormon composer Mack Wilberg, which appears at the end of the BYU Choirs concert “A Thanksgiving of American Folk Hymns,” recorded in April 1994, which is rebroadcast annually by hundreds of PBS affiliates. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square perform the Wilberg’s arrangement of this hymn in their concerts, and occasionally on their weekly broadcast Music and the Spoken Word. It is featured on two of their albums, The Sound of Glory, and America’s Choir and is the title song on the album “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” released in March 2009.
The original text of the hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”:
1. Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
2. Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
3. Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.
4. O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
5. O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.