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Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

This is not in the LDS hymnal, but it used to be. I wish it still was. I have not been able to determine exactly why it was removed, but I have my own ideas. It's in the public domain, so it wasn't because of copyright problems, nor do the lyrics contradict LDS theoology, and it's been a popular hymn for ages.

There is a discrepancy in attributing the music to John Wyeth. Other sources attribute the tune to Asahel Nettleton, but it was published in a collection of hymns by Wyeth. If the tune reminds you of "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer," you're not alone; they're close enough that you could easily confuse them.

I've tried my best to keep the song as simple as possible, even retaining the 3/4 time signature of the original. Tablature does not provide any way to know the relative lengths of the notes. In most hymns, you'd be safe just playing every note as an eighth note, but that won't help you here. So I've added a line of counting numbers below the lyrics, to show where the notes actually fall.

This song is very easy to play, if you leave out the bridge and just play the verses. I've included optional chords for those who just want to strum along while singing. If you want to make a guitar solo of it, play the bridge, too. You'll need to play a few of those pesky barre chords, if you want to do that. Optional chords are shown in light face type, while everything else is in bold face.

I only included my favorite two verses. There are several others, and they vary with the book you consult. I especially dislike the verse that goes,

Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
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.

I have nothing against the sentiment, but the rhymes seem forced, and I have never met any normal person who could tell me what an Ebenezer* is, or why, exactly, a body would want to raise one. I prefer to leave out the verse entirely, substituting the more modern

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.
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.

Purists will hate me for throwing out the Ebenezer, of course. So I usually just sing the first and last verses, and raise the guitar solo instead of the Ebenezer, which I cannot say without laughing, anyway. No one laughs when I play the guitar.


* Ebenezer comes from two Hebrew words meaning "a stone of help", and raising one can refer to testifying of anything that reminds us of God's miraculous assistance to His saints.

9 comments:

Robert517 said...

I thought I heard that the non-inclusion of this hymn was actually just a simple mistake. I think I remember hearing this from a relatively first-hand source, so take the rumor I'm spreading for what it's worth!

Great hymn, though, and great arrangement you've done.

Anonymous said...

I knew one of the men who were on the committee that did the new hymn book. His hame is Stan Zenk. He would know. I have lost touch with him.

Aubrey said...

An Ebineazer is like our "standard to the nation" or our flag. Ouyr statement. Our own title of liberty if you will. Thank you for taking your time. I have a goal of learning as many hyms as I can before my brother returns from his misson and before YW Camp. I wanted to learn a hymn for each Gen Conf session but I'm behind by about 15. Thank you oh so much! I have found that I learn faster when I'm learning a hymn or after I have perfected one.

questionmark? said...

Thank you for putting these tabs up, my mom loves that I can play this song, its her favorite 'hymn' ever.

Anonymous said...

спасибо было очень интересно читать

Don Fallick said...

That Russian comment can be translated: "Thank you; this is a very interesting read." --Don

To my Russian friend: I read a bit of Russian, but the overwhelming majority of my readers do not. If you want to communicate with me personally, it's best to use email, which you can easily do by joining the blog, then clicking on my photo in the Members section. Please do not be offended, but if you want to communicate with the rest of the blog readers, I suggest you use English, which nearly all of them will understand without needing translation. Thanks. --Don

Anonymous said...

Perfect just what I was looking for!

somuchforjupiter said...

I actually think it was originally removed due to copyright issues, though I'm not sure how long it has been in the public domain.

I know, however, that an edition of the Presbyterian hymnal has the words but not the music of Come Thou Fount and cites copyright issues on the tune.

Perhaps the words are not copyrighted by the arrangement is?

Jack said...

I greatly appreciate the time you have spent to arrange and tab these hymns. Perhaps you can help me with Come thou Font...The melody starts with E, as tabbed, but you chose a lower E, and later the tab does not seem to follow the melody...am I missing something?

Thanks again
jack