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Garden Hymn

[ Roud 11502 ; Sacred Harp 284 ; Ballad Index Cha158 ; trad.]

Tim Eriksen, singer and guitar player with Cordelia’s Dad, sang Garden Hymn in 2001 on his eponymous solo CD Tim Eriksen. He commented in his liner notes:

Found in dozens of old American hymn books, including the American Vocalist and, most notably, the Sacred Harp (If you don’t have one, I suggest you get a copy immediately and find some people to sing with). It was a favourite of Connecticut preacher Lorenzo Dow which, probably through his visits to England, found its way into the repertoire of Hugh Bourne and the Primitive Methodists after 1804. We’re accustomed to thinking that before WW I culture and people flowed exclusively west from Europe to the New World, but it ain’t so. Lorenzo was an extremely interesting guy, and you’ll probably hear more about him if you come to see me play. I decided to figure out the fiddle for my mom for Christmas a couple of years ago. It’s her dad’s violin which he got around 1900.

This is a video of Tim Eriksen singing Garden Hymn live at Appalachian State University in February 2011:

Jon Boden learned Garden Hymn from Tim Eriksen and sang it as the 3 June 2011 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day.


Tim Eriksen sings Garden Hymn

The Lord into his garden comes,
The spices yield a rich perfume,
The lilies grow and thrive,
The lilies grow and thrive.

Refreshing showers of grace divine,
From Jesus flow to every vine,
And make the dead revive,
And make the dead revive.

O that this dry and barren ground
In springs of water may abound,
A fruitful soil become,
Fruitful soil become.

The desert blossoms as the rose
As Jesus conquers all his foes,
And makes his people one,
And makes his people one.

Come brethren ye who love the Lord
Who taste the sweetness of his word,
In Jesus’ ways go on,
In Jesus’ ways go on.

Our troubles and our trials here
Will only make us richer there
When we arrive at home,
When we arrive at home.

(repeat last verse)