Spirit & Heritage In Song is a series highlighting Traditional American Music.
In the last half century many of these traditional songs have been forgotten in a flood of contemporary music and international cultural influences. Yet these songs, ballads, melodies and hymns reflect the events, cultural backgrounds, aspirations, land and faith that make up the soul of the American People far more than the strains of moderne music that have washed upon the nation’s shores. This series is offered as a reminder of the Spirit of America as given voice in song.
Safe In The Arms Of Jesus
Only a few years after the last shot was fired in the American Civil War, ‘Safe In The Arms Of Jesus’ was written by Fanny Crosby (1820 – 1915), one of America’s most prolific hymn writers. Having struggled with her own personal challenges in life of being blind, and witnessing the enormous tragedy, violence and bloodshed of the War Between the States, this song reflects Fanny’s faith in security and salvation in the arms of her Savior, a hope shared by millions of fellow Christians around the world.
Oh, what a happy soul I am, Although I cannot see,
I am resolved that in this world Contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy, That other people don’t,
To weep and sigh because I’m blind, I cannot nor I won’t.
Fanny Crosby – Handfuls of Purpose
from the poetry of Fanny Crosby
Story Behind The Song
On April 30, 1868, Dr. W. H. Doane came into my house and said, “I have exactly forty minutes before my train leaves for Cincinnati. Here is a melody. Can you write words for it?” I replied that I would see what I could do. Then followed a space of twenty minutes during which I was wholly unconscious of all else except the work I was doing. At the end of that time I recited the words to “Safe in the Arms of Jesus.” Mr. Doane copied them, and had time to catch his train. Fanny Crosby
This song was played on August 8, 1885, when U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant was laid to rest in Riverside Park, on the banks of the Hudson River. CyberHymnal
“Queen of Gospel Song Writers”
Frances Jane Crosby (March 24, 1820 – February 12, 1915), usually known as Fanny Crosby in the United States and by her married name, Frances van Alstyne, in the United Kingdom, was an American Methodist rescue mission worker, poet, lyricist, and composer. During her lifetime, she was well-known throughout the United States. By the end of the 19th century, she was “a household name in evangelical Protestant circles” globally, and “one of the most prominent figures in American evangelical life”. She became blind while an infant.
Best known for her Protestant Christian hymns and gospel songs, Crosby was “the premier hymnist of the gospel song period (ca. 1870-1920)”, and one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing over 8000, with over 100 million copies of her songs printed. Crosby was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1975. Known as the “Queen of Gospel Song Writers”, and as the “Mother of modern congregational singing in America”, with“dozens of her hymns continue to find a place in the hymnals of Protestant evangelicalism around the world”, with most American hymnals containing her work, as “with the possible exception of Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley, Crosby has generally been represented by the largest number of hymns of any writer of the twentieth century in nonliturgical hymnals”. Her gospel songs were “paradigmatic of all revival music”, and Ira Sankey attributed the success of the Moody and Sankey evangelical campaigns largely to Crosby’s hymns. Some of Crosby’s best-known songs include “Blessed Assurance”, “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour”, “Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home”, “Praise Him, Praise Him”, “Rescue the Perishing”, and “To God Be the Glory”. Because some publishers were hesitant to have so many hymns by one person in their hymnals, Crosby used nearly 200 different pseudonyms during her career.
Crosby wrote over 1,000 secular poems, and had four books of poetry published, as well as two best-selling autobiographies. Crosby was the subject of at least a dozen biographies. Additionally, Crosby co-wrote popular secular songs, as well as political and patriotic songs, and at least five cantatas on biblical and patriotic themes, including The Flower Queen, the first secular cantata by an American composer.
Crosby was committed to Christian rescue missions, and was known for her public speaking.
Fanny Crosby was a descendant of Puritan immigrants to America in 1635, a relative of Revolutionary War spy Enoch Crosby, a member of Daughters of the Mayflower and the Daughters of the American Revolution (official website of D.A.R.), and a distant relative of American singer and actor Bing Crosby.
Read more about Fanny Crosby, her life and mission at Wikipedia >>
By Harvest Celebration
耶穌的手扶持我 (附漢英歌詞 – By Tu Family Choir and EFCI Choir Members
With Taiwanese and English lyrics subtitles
Bible Witness: Fanny Crosby Musical
See other songs of the American Spirit in History and at Music
Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast,
There by His love o’ershaded, sweetly my soul shall rest.
Hark! ’tis the voice of angels, borne in a song to me.
Over the fields of glory, over the jasper sea.
Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast
There by His love o’ershaded, sweetly my soul shall rest.
Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe from corroding care,
Safe from the world’s temptations, sin cannot harm me there.
Free from the blight of sorrow, free from my doubts and fears;
Only a few more trials, only a few more tears!
Jesus, my heart’s dear Refuge, Jesus has died for me;
Firm on the Rock of Ages, ever my trust shall be.
Here let me wait with patience, wait till the night is over;
Wait till I see the morning break on the golden shore.