Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

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"Leaning on the Everlasting Arms"
Song
Published 1887
Genre Hymn
Language English
Writer Anthony J. Showalter and Elisha Hoffman
Composer Anthony J. Showalter

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms is a hymn published in 1887 with music by Anthony J. Showalter and lyrics by Showalter and Elisha Hoffman.

Showalter said that he received letters from two of his former pupils saying that their wives had died. When writing letters of consolation, Showalter was inspired by the phrase in the Book of Deuteronomy 33:27 "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms".[1]

It has been used in several movies, including The Human Comedy (1943), The Night of the Hunter (1955), Phase IV (1974), Wild Bill (1995), Next of Kin (1989), and True Grit (2010) (of which it forms about a quarter of the score[2]). It was also used in a Guinness Beer commercial titled "Empty Chair" which was produced by Human Worldwide Inc.

It has been performed and recorded by such artists as Norbert Susemihl, Iris Dement, George Jones, Alan Jackson and Mahalia Jackson.

Lyrics[edit]

Showalter wrote the lyrics to the refrain and asked Hoffman to write the remaining lyrics.[3]

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Refrain:
Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.
O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
O how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Refrain
What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Refrain

There is an alternate version of the refrain, typically sung by basses:

Leaning on Jesus, leaning on Jesus, safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning on Jesus, leaning on Jesus, leaning on the everlasting arms.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ p.122 Morgan, Robert J. Near to the Heart of God: Meditations on 366 Best-Loved Hymns Revell, 2010
  2. ^ Burlingame, Jon (15 December 2010). "Burwell in tune with Coen brothers". Variety. Retrieved 3 February 2011. 
  3. ^ "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms". Cyberhymnal. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 

External links[edit]