I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

This hymn by Horatius Bonar (1808 - 1889) can be sung to several tunes, including KINGSFOLD which is very similar to the folk-tune for Star of the County Down.

It is often presented as a Celtic piece, but there are also a number of Southern-gospel renditions - as seen in some of the examples below.


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Small group with lead singers and congregation:

Solo singer with guitar and violin / woodwind backing:

Choral arrangement, unaccompanied


I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Come unto Me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down Thy head upon My breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was, weary and worn and sad;
I found in Him a resting place, and He has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Behold, I freely give
The living water; thirsty one, stoop down, and drink, and live.”
I came to Jesus, and I drank of that life giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived, and now I live in Him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say, “I am this dark world’s Light;
Look unto Me, thy morn shall rise, and all thy day be bright.”
I looked to Jesus, and I found in Him my Star, my Sun;
And in that light of life I’ll walk, till traveling days are done.

ABC Notation

T:I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
GF| "Em"E2 E2 E2 "D"DE | "G"G2 G2 "D"A2 GA | "G"B2 B2 "Am"AG "C"E2 | "D"D6 "G"GF |
w:I_ heard the voice of_ Je-sus say "Come_ un-to me_ and rest. Lay_
yyyy"Em"E2 E2 "Am"E2 DE | "D"G2 G2 "D"A2 GA | "G"B2 B2 "Am"AG E2 | "Em"E6 "D"Bc |
w:down, thou wea-ry_ one lay down thou_ head up-on_ my breast." I_
yyyy"G"d2 B2 "Em"BA G2 | "Am"A2 A2 "G"B2 GA | "Em"B2 B2 "C"AG E2 | "D"D6 "G"GF |
w:came to Je_sus as I was, so_ wea-ry worn_ and sad; I_
yyyy"Em"E2 E2 "Am"ED E2 | "G"G2 G2 "D"A2 GA | "C"B2 B2 "Am"AG E2 | "Em"E6 z2 |]
w:found in Him_ a rest-ing place, and_ He has made_ me glad.

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