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Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.
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What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear; What a privilege to carry Ev’rything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged: Take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful, Who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy-laden, Burdened with a load of care? Jesus is our mighty saviour, He will listen to our prayer. Do thy friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer. In his arms he will enfold you And his love will shield you there.
Joseph Medlicott Scriven (1819-1886)
These words were written by Joseph Scriven ‘to comfort his mother at a time of special sorrow’. When asked by a neighbour about its authorship he is said to have replied, ‘The Lord and I did it together’. So this is a highly personal hymn, not one written carefully for wider use, whether by adults or children. While respecting the needs and the faith of the author at a very special time, one has to say at the very least that it is incomplete. It reflects certain words of scripture, such as Psalm 55.22, ‘Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you’. It sits uneasily alongside other passages such as St Paul’s agonizing over his own sinful nature in Romans 7, where he can hardly be said to have neglected to ‘take it to the Lord in prayer’. In the intensely personal circumstances of its composition is perhaps natural that no notice is taken of the wider ministry in all parts of the Church that comes through Word and Sacrament, and through the fellowship of other Christians by which God’s comfort is so often given.
While adults may sing this with the knowledge that God often doesn’t work exactly that way, it is hardly right to impress it early on the minds of children when there is so much that they will have to unlearn later.
The tune was written in 1868 for these words, and is typical of the American gospel song of that period. In its naïvity it speaks the same language as the words.