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Windham

[ Roud 15045 ; trad.]

The Watersons sang the hymn Windham in 1977 on their album Sound, Sound Your Instruments of Joy. A.L. Lloyd commented in the sleeve notes:

The words are ascribed to Isaac Watts (b. Southampton 1674, d. Stoke Newington 1748), who also wrote When I Survey the Wondrous Cross and about 600 other hymns. The tune is by the New England composer Daniel Read (1757-1836). In its present form it appeared in several American hymn books, and spread in England in the first half of the nineteenth century during the exuberant evangelical campaigns of the Primitive Methodists. It is said to have been a favourite hymn of Abraham Lincoln's, a distinction shared with a hundred other hymns if half the claims are true.

Lyrics

The Watersons sing Windham

Broad is the road that leads to death
And thousands walk together there
But wisdom shows a narrow path
With here and there a traveller

Deny thyself and take thy cross
Is the redeemer's great command
Nature must count it all but dross
If she would gain this heavenly land

The fearful soul that tires and faints
And walks the ways of God no more
Is but esteemed almost a Saint
And makes his own destruction sure

Lord let not all my hopes be vain
Create my heart entirely new
Which hypocrites could ne' er attain
Which false apostates never knew

Acknowledgements

Transcribed from the singing of the Watersons by Garry Gillard.