mgpcpastor's blog

I’ve Found A Friend, O Such A Friend – Sunday Songs


I subscribe to the Reformed Praise blog, where David Ward and friends feature modernised lyrics to old hymns as well as some new tunes to sing old hymns to.
This week Ward posted a revision of James G. Small’s I’ve Found A Friend, O Such A Friend. The post also carries the recommendation that the tune to Stuart Townend’s How Deep The Father’s Love For Us suits these words. If you don’t know that tune you can get chords and watch Stuart Townend play the guitar at Worship Together.
We tried it at mgpc tonight and it worked pretty well.
The tune that I’ve most often sung this hymn with is called Friend or His For Ever in some other sources. It’s quite melodic and a bit twirly and while I enjoy singing it perhaps it doesn’t convey the gravity of the lyrics as well as it might.
The revised version has omitted a fourth verse, which again, I quite like, but the affirmations of the third verse provide a suitable conclusion to the song.
Ward introduces the hymn:

This hymn text is about the union that Christians have and can experience with Jesus. To the believer, Jesus becomes a friend more precious than anyone. We realize that Jesus sought us out even when we didn’t know or care about Him, and binds us to Himself with cords so strong that no one, not even ourselves, can break them.

Here are Ward’s revised lyrics with the originals included for comparison:
I’ve found a Friend, O such a friend!
He loved me ere I knew Him;
He drew me with the cords of love,
And thus He bound me to Him;
And round my heart still closely twine
Those ties which none can sever, (Those ties which nought can sever,)
For I am His, and He is mine,
Forever and forever.
I’ve found a Friend, O such a friend!
He bled, He died to save me;
And not alone the gift of life,
But His own Self He gave me!
No worldly things my own I’ll call, (Nought that I have my own I call,)
But yield them to the Giver, (I hold it for the Giver:)
My heart, my strength, my life, my all
Are His, and His forever.
I’ve found a Friend, O such a friend!
All pow’r to Him is given,
To guard me on my onward course,
And bring me safe to heaven.
The promise of untold delights (The eternal glories gleam afar)
Now cheers my weak endeavor: (To nerve my faint endeavor:)
So now to watch, to work, to fight; (So now to watch, to work, to war,)
And then to rest forever.

Stuart Townend (Tune) & David L. Ward (Text revision)
Original Author
James G. Small (1817-88)
© 1995 Kingsway’s Thankyou Music (Tune)

As a bonus here’s the fourth verse from cyberhymnal:
I’ve found a Friend, O such a friend!
So kind and true and tender,
So wise a Counselor and Guide,
So mighty a Defender!
From Him who loves me now so well
What power my soul can sever?
Shall life or death, shall earth or hell?
No! I am His forever.

A YouTube instrumental of How Deep The Father’s Love so you can test these lyrics to that tune.

Here’s a recording of the more traditional tune that I mentioned. Probably a little slower than I’d sing it.

edit: cyber hymnal link corrected.

3 thoughts on “I’ve Found A Friend, O Such A Friend – Sunday Songs

  1. We wanted to let you know the Cyber Hymnal™ has a new address: Your Web site links to the Cyber Hymnal™ from

    The old address now points to a pirate server in Panama which stole much of our content.

    Please spread the word about our move! God bless…

    Dick Adams

  2. Pingback: The REAL Cyber Hymnal | mgpcpastor’s blog

  3. Greetings from Wordwise Hymns. I posted an article on Small’s fine hymn this morning, so your post caught my eye. A couple of things:

    First, I’m truly glad to see you’re using the original 1996 version of the Cyber Hymnal, and not that of the “Panama Pirate.” Dick Adams is my good Cyber buddy, and I’ve assisted him a number of times with information on hymns–almost since he began the site.

    Second…h-m-m… Well, I’m not really so sure the revised version you’ve posted is an improvement. For example, “no worldly thing” is not as strong as “naught” (nothing at all). Nor are “untold delights” as wonderful to me as “eternal glories.” And there’s a richness in the fourth stanza that I wouldn’t want a congregation to miss. Just a thought or two. God bless.

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