Zaccheus (There was a man in Jericho called Zaccheus)

This hymn about Jesus eating with Zacchaeus the tax-collector was written by American Roman Catholic and Medical Mission Sister Miriam Therese Winter (b 1938).

The words are based on Luke 19: 1-8.

The song was originally published in Winter's 1965 collection "Joy is like the Rain".   Sheet music for the Joy is Like the Rain collection can be purchased through the Medical Mission sisters website, and copies are occasionally available on Amazon.


Watercolour of Jesus speaking to Zaccheus while he sat in a tree in Jericho.


Downloads

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Examples

Original recording:


Solo singer with guitar accompaniment:


Lyrics

The lyrics are copyright so cannot be reproduced here. But they are currently available on this website.

The song starts with a four-line chorus, and this is repeated after each of the three verses. A rough outline is:
Chorus:
There was a man in Jericho called Zaccheus.
There was a man in Jericho called Zaccheus.
Now the Hebrews, they were tall, but Zaccheus, he was small,
Yet the Lord loved Zaccheus, better than them all.

1 The Lord went walking one day through Jericho town ...

2 The Lord said, “Zaccheus, I am dining with you today ...

3 Now Zaccheus was small of stature, but he could show ...

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KEEP IN CASE ORIGINAL IS REMOVED, BUT DO NOT DISPLAY
There was a man in Jericho called Zaccheus,
There was a man in Jericho called Zaccheus.
Now the Hebrews, they were tall, but Zaccheus, he was small,
Yet the Lord loved Zaccheus, better than them all.

1  The Lord went walking one day through Jericho town,
And the people began to gather from miles around.
But Zaccheus, he couldn't see, so he climbed a Sycamore tree,
And the Lord looked up and said, "Zaccheus, come down."

2  The Lord said, "Zaccheus, I am dining with you today,
Zaccheus, I come to your house, come lead the way."
Then, Zaccheus, he gave a cheer, but the people began to sneer,
"This man is a sinner, does the Lord seek lodging here?"

3  Now Zaccheus was small of stature, but he could show,
That a man who is stout of heart can grow and grow.
"If I have cheated young and old, I restore the goods four fold."
And salvation came that day to his whole household.

9 comments:

  1. Beautiful. Exactly the way I remember it back in the 1960s at St Mary's College Kisubi, Uganda

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    1. It sounds a bit African to me this hymn. Never noticed that before.

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  2. This beautiful song was taught by my classteacher/ choir master Mr. M.A.Newport of Scott Christian Higher Secondary School Nagercoil S. India

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    1. Africa,India, Australia, Brooklyn, East Providence, USA, this hymn reached a lot of kids!

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  3. this is the perfect way to get back to god:)

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  4. Thought to us Alter boys in Brooklyn n.y. in the 1970's

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  5. OMIGOSH, it's been at least 55 years since I heard this in actuality!!! It was part of my Lutheran Sunday School program, where I grew up, under the direction of Fran Ball (née Hepner)!! I always remembered the refrain but I could not remember the verse lyrics. Thank you, thank you so much for bringing back a wonderful memory of my childhood!!

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  6. In 1965, I was 10 years old. My best friend, Janet and I played guitar and harmonized to this song as well as other catholic folk songs of the time. Back then, the 9am Sunday Mass was referred to as The Folk Mass. This took place at Sacred Heart Church, East Providence, RI.USA We performed at Mass for about 2 years. A new Pastor arrived and that was the end of the Folk Mass.

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  7. Yes we learned this folk hymn I'm pretty sure with Sister Bernadine at St. Patrick's a primary in Blacktown, NSW in Australia in the 60's maybe 67 or so.
    I clearly remember Joy is Like the Rain. I liked that one specially.
    Today for some reason I have the song Zaccheus on my mind.
    Yesterday the name Miriam popped into my head so maybe Sr. Miriam Winter is trying to tell me something today.
    thanks,Miriam.
    Gabby.

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