Softly and Tenderly

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"Softly And Tenderly" is a Christian hymn. It was composed and written by Will L. Thompson in 1880.[1]

Allegedly, when evangelist Dwight L. Moody was in the hospital barred from seeing visitors although Thompson had arrived, Moody insisted that Thompson be let in, whereupon Moody told him:

Will, I would rather have written "Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling" than anything I have been able to do in my whole life.[2]

Thompson was a member of the Churches of Christ, where several of his hymns and gospel songs continue in use. "Softly and Tenderly" is the most widely known of his compositions and has circulated far beyond its origins in the American Restoration Movement. It is among the most prolifically translated gospel songs and has spread appealingly into the repertoire of various fellowships of Christendom.[3]

Use in modern culture[edit]

The song's melody is tuned in twice in the movie Abrupt Decision, released 2011.

The film The Trip to Bountiful makes recurrent use of the song.

An a cappella version is sung by Alessandro Nivola in the film Junebug.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "2002 class of inductees announced". Lou Holtz / Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame. East Liverpool, Ohio. 2000. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  3. ^ Finley, Gene C. (1980). Our garden of song: A book of biography of song writers of the Church of Christ. West Monroe, Louisiana: Howard. pp. 479–418.