When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

This was written by Isaac Watts (1674-1748) was first published in Hymns and Spir­it­u­al Songs in 1707.  It is suitable for Lent and for Good Friday, and focusses on the Cross.

With meter LM (long meter, the tunes it has been set to include.
  • HAMBURG by Lowell Mason (1824;)
  • EUCHARIST by Isaac B. Woodbury (1819-1858) 
  • ROCkINGHAM by Edward Miller (1790) - widely used in the UK
  • O WALY WALY - traditional English.
Many recent publications leave out the fourth verse "His dying crimson, like a robe ..."



Boys choir with organ accompaniment - ROCKINGHAM

Congregation with piano accompaniment - ROCKINGHAM

Choir, unaccompanied. ROCHINGHAM. Professional recording:

Singer with band - tune TBA

Instrumental - guitar (with close-up of fingering) - ROCKINGHAM

Contemporary backing - O WALY WALY

Instrumental only - guitar - HAMBURG

Solo singer - unaccompanied - HAMBURG


When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

ABC Notation

About ABC notation 

T:When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
Z:abc-transcription www.GodSongs.net
D | "D" F-"G"G E | "F#m" D2 F | "D" A2 B | "A" A2 A |
w:1~~~When I_ sur-vey the won-drous cross, on
w:2~~~For-bid_ it, Lord, that I should boast, save
w:3~~~See from_ His head, His hands, His feet, sor-
w:4~~~Were the_ whole realm of na-ture mine, that
"D" d2 c | "G" B2 A | "A" A "Bm" -G F | "Bm" F "E" -E E |
w:1~~~which the Prince of glory__ died,_ my
w:2~~~in the death of Christ_ my God!_ All
w:3~~~row and love flow min-gled_ down!_ Did
w:4~~~were an offer-ing far_ too small;_ Love
"A" A2 B | "A" c2 A | "D" (d "Bm" F) ^G | "A" A2 D |
w:1~~~rich-est gain I count_ but loss, and
w:2~~~the vain things that charm_ me most, I
w:3~~~e’er such love and so-rrow_ meet, or
w:4~~~so a-maz-ing, so_ div-ine, de-
"G" G2 F | "Em" E2 D | "G" (D/2E/2 "Bm" F) E | "D" D2 z |]
w:1~~~pour con-tempt on all__ my pride.
w:2~~~sac-ri-fice them to__ His blood.
w:3~~~thorns com-pose so rich__ a crown?
w:4~~~mands my soul, my life,__ my all.

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