Abide With Me
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Eb F C D Bb  

About The Hymn

Lyrics are by Henry F. Lyte (1793- 1847)

Henry Francis Lyte was an Anglican clergyman who served nearly half his life as vicar of a church at Brixham, a fishing village in Devonshire, on the southwest coast of England. He composed this song three weeks before his death.

In 1844, Henry was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Over the next three years his physical condition deteriorated until finally on September 4, 1847, at the age of 54, he stood in the pulpit for the last time to deliver his farewell message.

That same afternoon, after taking a walk on the beach, Henry retired to his room. He emerged about  an hour later with a written copy of Abide With Me. He left soon after for a trip to Italy, to get away from the cold, damp coastal weather. While en route to his destination, he mailed a revised copy of Abide With Me to his wife. A few days later while resting in a hotel on the French Riviera, Henry went home to be with Jesus. A fellow clergyman who was with Henry during his final hours reported that Henry's last words were Peace! Joy!

The tune most associated with this lyric is  EVENTIDE. It  was composed by William H. Monk in 1861. Mrs. Monk de­scribed the setting: This tune was written at a time of great sorrow—when to­ge­ther we watched, as we did daily, the glories of the set­ting sun. As the last golden ray faded, he took some paper and penciled that tune which has gone all over the earth.

The hymn was sung at the wedding of King George VI, at the wedding of his daugh­ter, the fu­ture Queen Elizabeth II, and at the funeral of Nobel peace prize winner Mother Teresa of Calcutta in1997.

The church bells at the church in Devonshire where Lyte pastored play this song every day.

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