I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

This folk-style hymn of faith in Jesus Christ is from the Assam region in the north-east of India.

It was inspired by a man called Nokseng, who was converted to Christianity in the mid 19th century (ie mid 1800s) by a missionary. His village chief was not pleased and called on Nokseng to reconsider. But he simply replied, in the style of Luke 9:57, "I have decided to follow Jesus." When his family were threatened, he continued, "Though no one join me, still I will follow." Eventually he was killed while singing, "The world behind me, The cross before me."

At some point these words were set in the form of a hymn: this has been attributed to at least two different people people, and no definitive source has been found.  It is generally assumed to be in the public domain / traditional, because of the amount of time since it was first recorded / published.

Several extra verses have been added, which aren't directly based on the Indian martyr's words. Some churches choose not to use the hymn, because of concerns that it presents faith as a human choice rather than a gift from God - it is possible that the additional verses were to address these concerns.

The song is widely used in children's activities, camps and summer bible-schools.   Several children's choir records and action videos have been released - although it is by no means only a song for children.

With meter 10.10.10.8, the tune has been called ASSAM in honour of the area it came from.



Downloads



Sheet music in D is also available - this is not suitable for group / congregation singing, but is provided for folk-instrumentalists.



Examples


Bluegrass-style recording:



Professional folk-band recording from the 1970/80's:



Lead singer with band, contemporary arrangement, professional recording:



Vacation bible school style action track:



Sing, self-accompanied on guitar:



Choir and congregation, with organ:



Instrumental - organ:


Lyrics

I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
no turning back, no turning back.

Though none go with me, I still will follow;
though none go with me, I still will follow;
though none go with me, I still will follow;
no turning back, no turning back.

The world behind me, the cross before me;
the world behind me, the cross before me;
the world behind me, the cross before me;
no turning back, no turning back.

Sing glory, glory, and hallelujah,
Sing glory, glory, and hallelujah,
Sing glory, glory, and hallelujah,
No turning back, no turning back!

Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
No turning back, no turning back!

ABC Notation

About ABC notation

X:1
T:I Have Decided to Follow Jeaus
T:ASSAM
C:Unknown
Z:abc-transcription www.GodSongs.net
M:4/4
L:1/4
K:Cmaj
CC E | "C"G2 G2 |-"G"G G A G | "C"E2 C2-| C c c c |
w:I have de-cid-ed_ to foll-ow Je-sus._ I have de-
"F"c2 c2-| c c "G"d c | "F"A2 "C"G2- | G C "F"C E |
w:cid-ed_ to foll-ow Je-sus._ I have de-
"G"G2 G2- | G "G7"G A G | "Am"E2 "F"C2- | C "G" G A G |
w:cid-ed_ to foll-ow Je-sus._ No turn-ing
"Am"E4- y | E C "Dm "D D | "C"C4- | y C |]
w:back,_ no turn-ing back.

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