It Is Well With My Soul

August 17, 2011

A conversation on Twitter just reminded me of the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul”… and I remembered that I rewrote the lyrics a couple of years ago.

We had held a “check your theology at the door” hymn sing at the church, and we had a blast singing “Just As I Am” and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”…songs of our pasts, which stir up our souls in old and sometimes meaningfulways. We sang and told stories and laughed and cried that night… blessed to share this with each other.

 “It Is Well” was my trigger. THe words spoke deeply to me – to a point. Theoriginal lyrics by Horace Spafford are deeply tied to ‘washed in the blood” theology, and I found someof them to be too out of line with what I believe. And yet the song moved me. My minister, Linda Hoddy, suggested I rewrite the lyrics, which I did.  Our music director, Michael Harrison, arranged the song for a quartet, and we sang it the first time at a service on Faith, Hope, and Charity.

You can read what I wrote about it here. Below are the words as rewritten:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way

When sorrows like sea billows roll

Whatever my lot, faith has taught me to say

It is well, it is well with my soul.

 It is well (it is well) with my soul (with my soul)

It is well, it is well with my soul.

 

Though pain, tribulation, and trials should come

Let this simple prayer now console

Though I have regarded my helpless estate

I shall know it is well with my soul.

 It is well (it is well) with my soul (with my soul)

It is well, it is well with my soul.

  

When life beareth down, and no answers arise

And all is beyond my control

My heart still can rest in the peace I have found

And proclaim it is well with my soul.

 It is well (it is well) with my soul (with my soul)

It is well, it is well with my soul.

 

 New lyrics by Kimberley Debus, 2009; original lyrics by Horatio Spafford, 1873. Music by Philip Bliss, 1876.

Tags: , ,