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St Oswald's

The parish church of Bollington

Bollington Road, Bollington Cross, SK10 5EG
07895 363 038



Sing-Along Hymns

Charlotte Elliot (1789-1871)
Emily Elizabeth Steele Elliott (1836-1897)

Charlotte Elliot had been brought in a Christian family, but in the early part of her life she had doubts about her faith and felt unworthy of God’s Grace. She suffered from ill health most of her life. She wrote many hymns, but few are well-known today.

Emily Elizabeth Steele Elliott (1836-1897), was her niece and the third daughter of an Anglican priest from Brighton. She wrote a number of hymns, but only one is in common use today.


Charlotte Elliot

Just as I am, without one plea

The words were written by Charlotte Elliot and published in 1836 in The Invalid’s Hymn Book, of which she was by then the editor. It is a very personal expression of her feelings. It has been translated into many languages.

The original second verse doesn't appear in modern hymnals. It is shown below.

The original tune used is Woodworth. It was written by the American William Batchelder Bradbury (1816-1868) for a different hymn and was slightly modified to fit these words. This is still the tune most used in the USA. It was used in Billy Graham’s crusades. Perhaps that’s why it’s not so popular in UK these days? Bradbury also wrote the tune to the children’s hymn Jesus loves me, this I know.

Saffron Walden was written in 1890 by Arthur Henry Brown (1830-1926). Largely a self-taught musician, he was the organist at Brentwood parish church for many years. He was a supporter of the Oxford Movement and pioneered the restoration of plain­chant and Gregorian music in Anglican worship. Another of his tunes, St John Damascene, is often used for Come ye faithful, raise the strain.

Misericordia was written by Henry Smart, who also wrote Pilgrims Hark, hark, my soul, angelic songs are swelling.

(The last two tunes share similarities (but they don’t fit together – I tried!).

[1] Just as I am – without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

[3] Just as I am – though toss’d about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

[4] Just as I am – poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

[5] Just as I am – Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

[6] Just as I am – Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

[7] Just as I am – of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

(repeat 'I come' at the end of each verse)

Saffron Walden


[2] Just as I am – and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

There is also a Welsh tune Gwylfa composed by D. Lloyd Evans, although I haven’t found out much about him. It seems to be quite a common name in Wales. Anyway, here it is, together with the words to verses 1 and 5, so that you can sing along:

[1] Fel, fel yr wyf, ’n awr atat Ti,
Heb ble ond aberth Calfari,
A’th fod yn galw amaf fi,
O ddwyfol Oen! ’r wy’n d’od.

[5] Fel, fel yr wyf, mae’th gariad mawr,
Yn tòri ’r rhwystrau oll i lawr;
’Gael bod yn eiddot byth yn awr,
O ddwyfol Oen! ’r wy’n d’od.

The verses in Welsh don't exactly correspond with the English ones. 'Calfari' is Welsh for 'Calvary'. The Welsh verse 5 is about the barriers being broken down.


Thou didst leave thy throne

The words were written by Emily Elizabeth Steele Elliott.

The refrain to the hymn is a couplet that can form part of ones private prayer:
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus; there is room in my heart for Thee.

There was originally another verse to the hymn. It is added below.

The tune Margaret was composed by Revd Timothy Richard Matthews (1826-1910). His father was a Vicar, as was his son. He composed a number of hymn tunes, of which this is the best known.

[1] Thou didst leave thy throne and thy kingly crown
when Thou camest to earth for me;
but in Bethlehem’s home there was found no room
for Thy holy nativity:
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus;
there is room in my heart for Thee.

[2] Heaven’s arches rang when the angels sang,
proclaiming Thy royal degree;
but in lowly birth didst Thou come to earth,
and in great humility:
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus;
there is room in my heart for Thee.

[4] Thou camest, O Lord, with the living word
that should set Thy people free;
but with mocking scorn and with crown of thorn
they bore Thee to Calvary:
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus;
there is room in my heart for Thee.

[5] When all heaven shall ring, and her choirs shall sing,
at Thy coming to victory,
let Thy voice call me home, saying, 'Yet there is room,
There is room at My side for thee':
My heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus,
When Thou comest and callest for me.



Revd Timothy R Matthews

[3] The foxes found rest, and the birds their nest
In the shade of the forest tree;
But Thy couch was the sod, O Thou Son of God,
In the deserts of Galilee.:
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus;
there is room in my heart for Thee.

For each hymn we have provided a set of verses together with an electronically generated sound-track. The sound track does not provide any words - just the tune.

The selection of hymns to be included was subject to certain limitations, notably the restrictions of copyright. This meant that many modern hymns were excluded, and the exclusion even applied to some updated versions of traditional hymns. Some publishers have made a few minor changes to make hymns more "inclusive" and have then claimed copyright over the revised text. So in most cases the ORIGINAL texts have been used, even though these may not be the versions that appear in modern hymnals.

In deciding what tunes to be used, this has largely been the Webmaster's personal choice. It is a mixture of familiar tunes and tunes that are not well-known, but deserve to be better known. The webmaster has included some personal favourites (and excluded some pet hates!). The soundtracks provided go with the words provided - if there are four verses, the tune is repeated four times. Where possible tunes have been provided with descants or alternative arrangements.

Wherever possible, there is an explanation of who wrote the words or tunes, the circumstances under which they were written, when (and sometimes why). Many hymns include references to verses appearing in the King James Version of the Bible; more modern translations were not then available! In some cases we have tried to explain these scriptural references or other instances where words have changed their meaning over time.

This selection of "Sing-along Songs of Praise" was originally a series of blog posts written during the COVID Lockdowns of 2020. It was intended to allow people to sing hymns in the safety and privacy of their own homes at a time when hymn-singing in church was not allowed (even if the church building was open!).

When hymns are sung as part of a church service, it is normally the case that the hymn books are set aside at the end of the hymn and the next part of the service continues. There is no time to sit and reflect on the meaning or the beauty of words and/or music. This collection allows you to take your time, to read, listen sing along, reflect, and to repeat a hymn again if you wish.



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Last modified: 07 March 2021