Little White Guest (You have come to my heart, dearest Jesus)

This is a children's song is for First Communion, possibly from the Victorian era.  The author is unknown.   Even today, it is still printed on prayer cards, and it may have originally been a prayer without any tune associated with it.

The phrase "O please do not think I am bold" suggests that it is of Irish origin, and this blog-post also links it to Ireland.

It is referred to in the cover-notes of this CD, by a person raised in Australian, who was born in 1931, and therefore likely to have been making first communion in 1937/38.

A setting to a an unnamed tune, attributed to "R. F. M." was published by McLaughlin & Reilly Co of Boston USA, copyright in 1937 - but it does not appear to have been included in the Pius X Hymnal or other hymnals from the same publishers, and no evidence has been found of the copyright being renewed.   The appearance in Australia at the same time suggests that the words, at least were written earlier than this,

Another setting, this time with the tune attributed to "NAJ" and to the text to Sr Myra CSJ has also been located. This appears to be to a similar tune, but with some differences in the timing - or perhaps it is even the same tune, but better notated.


    Downloads

    Examples

    A recording of the version by Sr Myra can be heard on this website.


    Lyrics

    Traditional

    Thou hast come to my heart, dearest Jesus,
    I am holding Thee close to my breast;
    I'm telling Thee over and over,
    Thou art welcome, O Little White Guest.

    I love Thee, I love Thee, my Jesus,
    O please do not think I am bold;
    Of course, Thou must knowest that I love Thee,
    But I'm sure that Thou likest to be told.

    And now Thou hast come, dearest Jesus,
    To nestle so close to my breast,
    I whisper, “ I love Thee, my Jesus”
    Thou art welcome, O little White Guest.

    I'll whisper, "I love Thee, my Jesus,"
    And ask that we never may part;
    I love Thee, O kind, Loving Jesus
    And press Thee still nearer my heart.

    And when I shall meet Thee in Heaven,
    My soul then will lean on Thy Breast.
    And Thou will recallest our fond meetings,
    When Thou wert my little White Guest.


    Modern English

    You have come to my heart, dearest Jesus,
    I am holding You close to my breast;
    I'm telling You over and over,
    You are welcome, Little White Guest.

    I love You, I love You, my Jesus,
    O please do not think I am bold;
    Of course, You must know that I love You,
    But I am sure that you like to be told.

    And now that You’ve come, dearest Jesus,
    To nestle so close to my breast,
    I whisper, “ I love You, my Jesus”
    You are welcome, O little White Guest.

    I'll whisper, "I love You, my Jesus,"
    And ask that we never may part;
    I love You, O kind, loving Jesus
    And press You still nearer my heart.

    And when I shall meet You in Heaven,
    My soul then will lean on Your breast;
    And You will recall our fond meetings,
    When You were my Little White Guest.

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