Guardian Angel / Beautiful Angel

This is a hymn of petition to the singer's guardian angel.  The original author is unknown.  Early publications show it as a hymn for children, but comments left with various videos in YouTube show that it is appreciated by people of all ages.
Hymn-books which it has been published in include:
  • Manual of Hymns for Congregational Singing, Prayers and Pious Practices, Popp and Hogan, California, USA, 1903
  • Sunday School Hymn Book, Sisters of Notre Dame, Oliver Ditson Co, Boston, USA, 1907 - which says it is used by permission of the John Church Co, the copyright holders.
  • Westminster Hymnal, England, 1912 - set to a tune by H B Collins, with irregular meter.
  • The Leeds Catholic Hymnal, England 1957, which does not attribute either the text or the tune
  • St Andrew's Hymnal, Scotland, 1964, set to a tune called SODALIS which is attributed as "Traditional (HM)".
Based on the first publication date, it is assumed that the hymn is now in the public domain.

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

The hymn appears to have been especially popular in the north of England and Scotland in the mid 20th century, as well as being used in America in the early part of the century.



Downloads


Examples

Choir with organ:



Soloist with piano, recorded live at a baptism:



Singer with piano, lyrics on -screen:



Singer with piano, studio recording:


Lyrics

Traditional language

Guardian angel, from heaven so bright,
Watching beside me, to lead me aright,
Fold thy wings round me, O guard me with love,
Softly sing songs to me, of heav’n above.

Chorus:
Beautiful angel, My guardian so mild,
Tenderly guide me, for I am thy child.

Angel so holy, whom God sends to me,
Sinful and lowly, my guardian to be;
Wilt thou not cherish the child of thy care?
Let me not perish, my trust is thy pray’r.

O may I never forget thou art near:
But keep me ever in love and in fear.
Waking or sleeping, in labour and rest,
In thy sweet keeping my life shall be blest.

Angel, dear Angel, oh close by me stay;
Safe from harm shield me, all ill keep away
Then thou wilt lead me when this life is o’er
To Jesus and Mary to praise evermore.


Modern English

Guardian angel, from heaven so bright,
Watching beside me, to lead me aright,
Fold your wings round me, O guard me with love,
Softly sing songs to me, of heav’n above.

Chorus:
Beautiful angel, my guardian so mild,
Tenderly guide me, for I am your child.

Angel so holy, whom God sends to me,
Sinful and lowly, my guardian to be;
Will you not cherish the child of your care?
Let me not perish, my trust is your pray’r.

O may I never forget you are near:
But keep me ever in love and in fear.
Waking or sleeping, in labour and rest,
In your sweet keeping my life shall be blest.

Angel, dear Angel, oh close by me stay;
Safe from harm shield me, all ill keep away
Then you will lead me when this life is o’er
To Jesus and Mary to praise evermore.


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