Bringing In the Sheaves

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"Bringing In the Sheaves" is a popular American Gospel song used almost exclusively by Protestant Christians (though the content is not specifically Protestant in nature). The lyrics were written in 1874 by Knowles Shaw, who was inspired by Psalm 126:6, "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."[1] Shaw also wrote music for these words, but they are now usually set to a tune by George Minor, written in 1880.


Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness,
Sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve;
Waiting for the harvest, and the time of reaping,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves,
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows,
Fearing neither clouds nor winter’s chilling breeze;
By and by the harvest, and the labor ended,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
Going forth with weeping, sowing for the Master,
Though the loss sustained our spirit often grieves;
When our weeping’s over, He will bid us welcome,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves,
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

In popular culture[edit]

  • Used with great effect by Sister Bessie Rice in her bid to get a marriage license to a much younger man (Dude Lester) in the 1941 film Tobacco Road
  • This is played by the Salvation Army band in the musical Guys and Dolls (1950).
  • It was sung briefly by Reverend Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) in the 1955 movie The Night of the Hunter.
  • The song was a frequent favorite of Irene Ryan (Granny) on the Beverly Hillbillies television show which aired from 1962 until 1971.
  • In F Troop, the hymn is played by the temperance league formed by O'Rourke and Agarn in the first season episode 13 (first aired on December 7, 1965) "O'Rourke Vs. O'Reilly".
  • The song is heard being played by the three-piece marching band in the "Batman and the Bomb" scene in the 1966 film The Batman movie starring Adam West.
  • The hangman, Guy Raymond, riding his hose from San Antonio to Val Verde, sings the song in the movie Bandolero! (1968). As the movie is set in the year 1867, this would be an anachronism.
  • In the Disney movie Rascal (1969) a few bars of this song are played on a piano by Willard North (Steve Forrest).
  • Faye Dunaway sings the hymn while bathing Dustin Hoffman in the movie Little Big Man (1970).
  • "Bringing in the Sheaves" is found at the end of Losing Battles (1970) by southern American writer, Eudora Welty.
  • Frank Zappa used the song´s refrain as an intro to his song "Wonderful Wino" (1970).
  • The song was a recurring favorite on Little House on the Prairie (1974-1982) when the Ingalls family went to church.
  • This song was sung by Mounties in the film The Missouri Breaks (1976) while the horse thieves deride them.
  • Part of the refrain is quoted in The Mountain Goats' (1976) "Collapsing Stars".
  • Members of the Crickets (as portrayed by Gary Busey, Don Stroud and Charles Martin Smith) sing a line of the song during a recording session in the film The Buddy Holly Story (1978).
  • In Soap Season 2 Episode 15 (first aired on January 4, 1979; this episode was number 40 of all episodes made), a hobo sings the song to Chester Tate while in a soup line.
  • The song was sung by Lefty Enright in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
  • The song has been sung by various characters in various episodes of The Simpsons (which debuted in December 1989).
  • In the 1990 cult classic Blood Salvage, the twisted but religious repairman Jake Pruitt repeatedly sings the hymn.
  • This song is referenced by American punk rock band NOFX on their song "Leave It Alone" (off of the 1994 album Punk in Drublic) in the first chorus with the line, "...leave it the same/change with the leaves/bringing in the sheaves/ringing in the old/leave it alone...' The song was written by vocalist/bassist Fat Mike and guitarist/backup vocalist Eric Melvin. They are both Jewish.
  • In the Two and a Half Men episode A Jock Strap in Hell (first aired October 20, 2008), the song is sung by everyone when they are forced to go to church by Jake's former school teacher, Miss Pasternack.
  • Part of the song is heard in a deleted scene in Brüno (released in 2009).
  • The song was sung in the beginning sequence of the 2009 remake of Stephen King's Children of the Corn .
  • The song was used in Big Love Season 3 Episode 6, "Come Ye Saints", first aired on February 22, 2009.
  • Is mentioned in Stephen King's book, 11.22.63 (published in 2011) as a song that Jake (George) and Sadie sing while attending Jodie's First Methodist church in "Jodie," Texas.
  • The song is sung by the werewolves during their worship service in Supernatural season 9 Episode 12 Sharp Teeth (aired January 28, 2014).
  • The song is sung by Fred in Call the Midwife in Season 3, Episode 6 (first aired February 23, 2014).
  • It is featured in an episode of The Oblongs on Cartoon Network. In the "Milo Interrupted" episode of The Oblongs, Helga's temporary guardian sings this spiritual as well.
  • In The Andy Griffith Show, the hymn was sung by a church congregation in "The Church Organ" episode, and in the episode "Bailey's Bad Boy," Barney Fife lulls town drunk Otis to sleep by humming the tune.
  • The children in Children Of The Corn sing it before chasing the main character into the corn field.
  • In the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode Little Brittle, Little Brittle suddenly converts to Christianity and exclaims "Bringin' in the sheaves, y'all!"
  • The song was sung by the inmates attending a Sunday worship service in episode 680 of Prisoner Cell Block H.
  • This song was sung by Ingrid and Joanna Beauchamp on Witches of East End (season 2, episode 11) to summon the spirit that possessed Freya.


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