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Alas! and did my Savior bleed

Isaac Watts

Hymnary text authority (2245 instances)
Cyber Hymnal™ page


This simple Common Meter hymn is very frequently found with added refrains, a number of which are given in the Tunes below. A great many American hymnals contain two settings, usually MARTYRDOM and HUDSON. The basic plain-verse hymn is as follows:
1 Alas! and did my Saviour bleed,
  And did my Sov'reign die?
  Would he devote that sacred Head
  For such a Worm as I?

2 Thy Body slain, sweet Jesus thine,
  And bath'd in its own Blood,
  While all expos'd to Wrath divine,
  The glorious Suff'rer stood!

3 Was it for Crimes that I had done
  He groan'd upon the Tree?
  Amazing Pity! Grace unknown!
  And Love beyond Degree!

4 Well might the Sun in Darkness hide,
  And shut his Glories in,
  When GOD the Mighty Maker dy'd
  For Man the Creature's Sin.

5 Thus might I hide my blushing Face,
  While his dear Cross appears,
  Dissolve my Heart in Thankfulness,
  And melt my Eyes to Tears.

6 But Drops of Grief can ne'er repay
  The Debt of Love we owe;
  Here, Lord, I give myself away,
  'Tis all that I can do.

One or two stanzas are frequently omitted, even in the plain-verse settings, but particularly often in the settings with refrains.

Tunes (and refrains); these are, in order of frequency, the top four pairings in the database for this text:

HUDSON ("At the Cross"), composer (and author of refrain): Ralph Hudson

MARTYRDOM (= AVON) [Hugh Wilson]

REMEMBER ME (Hull), composer: Asa Hull; authorship of refrain uncertain

HE LOVES ME: tune and refrain apparently anonymous

Here are some less common tunes and/or refrains for this hymn:
CAMPMEETING (refrain: "I do believe...") [anonymous]
Variant of HE LOVES ME [in Christian Harmony, 2010]
O HOW I LOVE JESUS [anonymous]
WALSALL [W. Anchors' A Choice Collection, 1721]
I surrendered at the cross [Charles Price Jones]
SUFFERING SAVIOR (Shenandoah Harmony; refrain: "O the Lamb...") [anonymous]
WEEPING SAVIOR (Sacred Harp; refrain: "Oh, come, sinner...")
VICTORIA (Sacred Harp; refrain: "I have but one..." [Leonard P. Breedlove]
LOVE THE LORD (Sacred Harp; refrain: "Oh who is like Jesus...") [J. P. Reese]
... and the earliest (1800) refrain version I've found, but the tune of which I have not been able to determine:
THANKS TO THE LAMB (refrain: "Thanks...") [anonymous]
... and the Cooper Book editions of the Sacred Harp contain a version under the title "Come, Friends, Go With Me", of which I have not yet found a good page scan.
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