Alas And Did My Savior Bleed

DESCRIPTION: "Alas and did my savior bleed, And did my Sovereign die, Would he devote that sacred head For such a worm as I? Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree?" The singer lists the faults of humanity and says how great is his debt to Christ
AUTHOR: Words: Isaac Watts (1674-1748) / Tune: Hugh WIlson (Source:
EARLIEST DATE: 1707 (Watts, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, first edition. Source: Julian)
KEYWORDS: religious nonballad Jesus
REFERENCES (1 citation):
High, p. 4, "Did My Savior Bleed" (1 text)
Roud #15070
cf. "Helen of Kirconnell" (tune)
NOTES: John Julian, editor, A Dictionary of Hymnology, 1892; second edition 1907 (I use the 1957 Dover edition in two volumes), p. 34, reports, that "At a very early date it passed into common use outside the religious body with which Watts was associated. It is found in many modern collections in G. Brit., but its most extensive use is in America. Usually the second stanza, marked in the original to be left out in singing if desires, is omitted.... A slightly altered version of this hymn, with the omission of st[anza] ii., was rendered into Latin by Rev. R. Bingham, as 'Anne fundens sanguinem....'"
William Reynolds, Companion to Baptist Hymnal, Broadman Press, 1976, pp. 27, says that Watts's stanza five is also usually omitted, and that the other verses are often fiddled with as well. Reynolds, p. 28, says the usual tune goes by the names Avon, Marttyrdoom, Fenwick, Drumclog, Inveress, and All Saints. There was once litigation over its ownership, but it probably derives ultimately from "Helen of Kirconnelll." One Ralph E. Hudson (1843-1901) later wrote another tune (called, not surprisingly, "Hudson"), and added a chorus; I do not know how widespread this version is. Reynolds, p. 342, says that Hudson fought in the American Civil War as a young man and went on to be a musician and Methodist Episcopal preacher. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: High004

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