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Be Not Afraid (Come Follow Me) - Dufford

Man alone crossing a desert into a mysterious sky - 1 You shall cross the barren desert but you shall not die of thirst you shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way You shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand You shall see the face of God and live Chorus: Be not afraid I go before you always Come follow me And I will give you rest 2 If you pass through raging waters in he sea you shall not drown If you walk amid the burning flames you shall not be harmed If you stand before the power of hell and death is at your side know that I am with you through it all 3 Blessed are your poor for the kingdom shall be theirs Blest are you that weep and mourn for one day you shall laugh And if wicked men insult and hate you all because of me blessed, blessed are you!
This hymn was written in the early 1970s by American Roman Catholic seminarian Robert (Bob) Dufford SJ - who ordained as a priest before the song was completed.

It was initially written to help people who were at a point of transition in their lived - in Dufford's case, the transition from laity to ordained priesthood.

But several decades of use have seen it cross denominational boundaries and become particularly popular as a song of comfort for people who are dying or bereaved (ref), and at funerals.

It is set to an unnamed tune, also by Dufford. This has a 4/4 time signature. In the key of G, the first few notes are B, C D DD DD D_, with accompanying chords  G / Gsus4 / G.


Downloadable sheet music - arrangement scoring: Piano/Vocal;Singer


Singer with guitar - original recording:

Solo singer, with piano. Professional recording.

Singer with guitar:

Singer and congregation, with organ:

Instrumental - organ:


The lyrics are copyright so cannot be reproduced here. But they are currently available on this website. A rough outline is:
1 You shall cross the barren desert
... You shall see the face of God and live

Be not afraid,
I go before you always,
Come follow me,
And I will give you rest.

2 If you pass through raging waters

3 Blessed are your poor
... blessed, blessed are you!

This fourth verse was added by the original author, long after the original publication, based on his work with older people:

4 And when the earth has turned beneath you and your voice is seldom heard,
When the flood of gifts that blessed your life, has long since ebbed away,
When your mind is thick and hope is thin and dark is all around,
I will stand beside you till the dawn.

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