You've Got to Be a Lover of the Lord
DESCRIPTION: "Oh, you've got to be a lover of the Lord (x3) Or you won't get to heaven when you die."
"Come humble sinners... make this last resolve, Oh, you must be a lover of the Lord, Or you can't go to heaven when you die."
AUTHOR: Charles Wesley [and William Cowper]/ music: R. H. Reeves
EARLIEST DATE: 1869 (Sacred Harp hymnal)
KEYWORDS: religious nonballad clothes humorous playparty
FOUND IN: US(SE,So) New Zealand
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Randolph 654, "You've Got to Be a Lover of the Lord" (1 fragment)
Owens-2ed, p. 166, "Come Humble Sinners" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Huggins & Phillips Sacred Harp Singers, "Lover of the Lord" (Vocalion 5273, rec. 1928; on Babylon)
NOTES [103 words]: The Huggins & Phillips Sacred Harp Singers recording adds a verse of Cowper's "Oh, For a Closer Walk with God" to the song, probably to fill out the time on the record. - PJS
For background on Cowper, see the notes to "God Moves in a Mysterious Way."
Most of the field collections of this have wandered far from the source, but none perhaps as much as Sutton-Smith's New Zealand version, which has become a singing game:
Oh, you must be a lover of the Lord, of the Lord,
Or you won't go to heaven when you ie, when you die.
Oh, you must wear a collar and a tie, and a tie,
Or you won't go to heaven when you die. - RBW
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