This Old World
DESCRIPTION: Chorus: "This old world is full of sorrow, Full of sickness, weak and sore, If you love your neighbor truly, Love will come to you the more." Floating verses from other hymns: "We're all children of one father." "I will arise and go to Jesus." etc.
AUTHOR: (Some verses probably by John Newton)
EARLIEST DATE: 1966
KEYWORDS: religious nonballad floatingverses
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Darling-NAS, p. 259, "This Old World" (1 text)
ST DarN259B (Full)
cf. "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing (I)" (tunes)
cf. "Come, Ye Sinners" (tune, lyrics)
Mercy O Thou Son of David (Sacred Harp, pp. 52, 56, 458)
NOTES: The background to this song is confusing. The Golden Ring lists it as a set of words for "Mercy O Thou Son of David" (listed as by John Newton). But the Sacred Harp lists three tunes for those lyrics (which it also credits to John Newton): "Charlestown," "Villulia," and "Friendship." That Newton wrote the "Mercy O Thou Son of David" (Blind Bartimaeus) lyrics seems certain. How much of the rest he is responsible for is unclear.
To make matters worse, while all of those tunes fit "This Old World," none appear (at least in my copy of the Sacred Harp) seem to exactly match it.
If this song is anything, it's a placeholder for a variety of texts. There is almost a continuous gradation from this to songs of the "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" group.
The common chorus "I will arise and go to Jesus, He will embrace me in his arms, In the arms of our dear Savior, Oh, there are ten thousand charms" is reportedly the work of Joseph Hary (1712-1768), according to Robert J. Morgan, Then Sings My Soul, Book 2: 150 of the World's Greatest Hymn Stories, Nelson, 2004, p. 47. His text, "Come ye sinners, poor and needy, Weak and wounded, sick and sore, Jesus ready stands to save you, Full of pity, love and pow'r," reportedly dates from 1759, but all Morgan can say of the tune is that it is an "American melody." - RBW
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