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December 14, 2005

218R Where Cross the Crowded Ways (of Life)

Original Title: "Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life," Frank Mason North (1905), AUCORITATE SAECULI, L.M., Angers Church Melody; New Title: "Where Cross the Crowded Ways (of Life)," rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. Neither the hymn nor the tune appears in Singing the Living Tradition. North was a Methodist, served as president of the Federal (now National) Council of Churches, and was a native of New York City, whose bustling pace is manifest in these lyrics. Though at odds with Hymns of the Spirit Two, cyberhymnal.org gives the date of publication as 1903 in The Christian City (with the tune as GERMANY, which is how it appears as hymn no. 543 in the United Church of Christ's New Century Hymnal). The site enigmatically notes a biblical allusion to Matthew 22:9. Less obscure might be Matthew 10:40-42 (NRSV): "Whoever welcomes you welcomes me ... and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward."


1. Where cross the crowd-ed ways of life,
where sound out cries, our rac-es run;
a-bove the noise of self-ish strife,
we hear your voice, O Hu-man One.*

2. In haunts of wretch-ed-ness and need,
on shadow-ed thresh-olds full with fears,
from paths where hide the lures of greed,
we catch the vi-sion of your tears.

3. From ten-der child-hood's help-less-ness,
from lone-some grief, and burd-ened toil,
from fam-ished souls, from sor-row's stress,
your heart has ne-ver known re-coil.

4. The cup of wa-ter given for you,
still holds the fresh-ness of your grace;
Yet long these mul-ti-tudes to view
the sweet com-pas-sion of your face.

5. O Teach-er, from the moun-tain-side
make haste to heal these hearts of pain;
a-mong these rest-less throngs a-bide;
O tread the ci-ty's streets a-gain.

6. Till all earth's child-ren learn to love
and fol-low where your feet have trod,
till, glo-rious from your heaven a-bove,
shall come the ci-ty of our God!

* The 'Human One' is the phrase used for 'Son of Man' in the AIV edition of the Bible.

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Noteworthy Composer File

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Posted by rehurst at December 14, 2005 01:56 PM


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