Lord Make me an Instrument of Peace

This hymn is a folk-style setting of St Francis' Prayer of peace.

Is to the tune O WALY WALY - often known as "The Water is Wide".   The tune's composer is unknown, and it is described as English / Scottish / Irish - depending on who you ask.

It is not known who set the text to this tune, and I have not found it published in this form, or any on-line examples.  But the setting was widely known in New Zealand from the 1970s onwards, at least.  
  • A visitor to this website says that it was "in a songbook called Sing Now, quite possibly published by Gospel Publishing House (GPH) in Palmerston North, NZ" - this is not listed in the National Library Catalog, and no more references to it have been found as yet.
  • It was included in Sing Sing Sing, a hymn-book compiled by the Education Committee of the Sisters of Mercy, Wellington, New Zealand in the 1970s (ref).

If you have any more information about the song, please leave a message in the Comments box near the bottom of the page.


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Singer with electronic organ - simplified phrasing, on-screen lyrics:

Instrumental - folk harp:

Instrumental - piano:


Lord make me an instrument of peace,
Where there is hate let me sow love.
Where there is injury let me sow
A pardon deep as the flowing seas.

Where there is doubt let me sow faith.
Where there's despair let me sow hope.
Where there is dark let me sow light
Where there is sadness let me sow joy.

O loving Lord may I not seek
To be understood as to understand,
To be consoled as to console,
Or to be loved but to love all.

For it's in giving that we receive
It's in forgiving that we're forgiv'n
And it's in dying that we are born
To eternal life, to eternal life.

See also


  1. We certainly sang this in the late 1970's in NZ, as you say, but with the words divided a little differently over the notes. For example, "... where there is injury [dotted rhythm divided over the held D] your [slurred over the descending quavers] pardon [next tw quavers], Lord [the held B] -a pardon deep as the flowing sea."

  2. We had this version of the song at our wedding in 1981.

  3. Thank you! Been looking everywhere for this version. Great tune.

  4. Thank you for posting this, I was starting to think that I was just imagining singing those words to this tune in NZ in the 70s!

  5. Pretty sure the version we sang was in a songbook called Sing Now, quite possibly published by Gospel Publishing House (GPH) in Palmerston North, NZ.
    This isn't exactly the version we sang, which was more 'The water is wide' than O WALY WALY, but this is probably easier for congregations who didn't learn it back then...