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Updated 05/31/2013

 

Jesus Loves Me


Anna B. Warner

The Lyrics for "Jesus Loves Me" were written by Anna Bartlett Warner (August 31, 1827 – January 22, 1915) an American writer, and author of several hymns and religious songs for children. She was born on Long Island and died in Highland Falls, New York. 
 

Anna’s fa­ther was Hen­ry War­ner, a wealthy New York C­ity law­yer. When he lost most of his for­tune in the 1837 de­press­ion, the fam­i­ly was forced to move to their sum­mer home (Good Craig) on Con­sti­tu­tion Island in the Hud­son Riv­er. It was then that Anna and her sis­ter Su­san be­gan writ­ing to earn mon­ey.

They al­so con­duct­ed Bi­ble class­es for ca­dets at the near­by Mil­i­tary Acad­e­my at West Point. In mem­o­ry of her, the Acad­e­my’s Con­sti­tu­tion Is­land Asso­ci­a­tion man­ag­es the War­ner’s is­land prop­er­ty as an his­tor­ic site.

This hymn first ap­peared in the no­vel Say and Seal, by War­ner’s sis­ter Su­san; she want­ed a song for a Sun­day School teach­er to sing to a dy­ing boy, and asked An­na to write it.


William B. Bradbury

The tune was written by William Batchelder Bradbury (6 October, 1816 – January 7,1868).  Bradbury was born in York, Maine where his father was the leader of a choir. By age fourteen he had mastered every musical instrument available, but never saw an organ or a piano until 1830, when his parents moved to Boston. There he met Dr. Lowell Mason, and by 1834 was known as an organist. In 1840, he began teaching in Brooklyn, New York, where he gained popularity by his free singing-schools, and by his concerts, at which the performers, all children, sometimes numbered 1,000. In 1847 he went to Germany, where he studied harmony, composition, and vocal and instrumental music with the best masters.

In 1854, he started the Bradbury Piano Company, with his brother, Edward G. Bradbury in New York City. William Bradbury is best known as a composer and publisher of a series of musical collections for choirs and schools. He was the author and compiler of fifty-nine books. The first book was published in 1841.

In 1862, Bradbury found Jesus Loves Me in a book in which the words were spoken as a comforting poem to a dying child. Along with his tune, Bradbury added his own chorus "Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus Loves me..." After publication the song became one of the most popular Christian hymns in churches around the world.

He died on January 7, 1868 in Montclair, New Jersey and was buried in Bloomfield Cemetery in Bloomfield, New Jersey.


Lyrics by Anna Warner

 

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.

Refrain
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me! This I know,
As He loved so long ago,
Taking children on His knee,
Saying, “Let them come to Me.”

Refrain

Jesus loves me still today,
Walking with me on my way,
Wanting as a friend to give
Light and love to all who live.

Refrain

Jesus loves me! He who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.

Refrain

Jesus loves me! He will stay
Close beside me all the way;
Thou hast bled and died for me,
I will henceforth live for Thee.

Refrain

This stan­za from the orig­in­al is com­mon­ly omit­ted in hymn­als:

Jesus loves me! Loves me still,
Though I’m very weak and ill,
That I might from sin be free
Bled and died upon the tree.