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Just a Closer Walk with Thee – Hearty Hymns from A to Z

A traditional gospel / spiritual song of unknown origin, “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” is perhaps best recognized as the traditional dirge for funereal parades in New Orleans (often followed by "When the Saints Go Marchin' in"), as well as a frequently sung church hymn.

It may also be one of the most covered Christian hymns of all time. Vocal and instrumental recordings may be found by such diverse artists as Bart Millard / Mercy Me, Crystal Gayle, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Joan Baez, Lawrence Welk, Little Richard, Merle Haggard, Pat Boone, Patsy Cline, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Randy Travis, The Fray, The Oak Ridge Boys, Van Morrison, VeggieTales, Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis / Eric Clapton, and many more.

The lyrics are familiar:

I am weak, but Thou art strong,
Jesus, keep me from all wrong,
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.

Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

 Through this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares?
None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.

 When my feeble life is o’er,
Time for me will be no more,
Guide me gently, safely o’er
To Thy kingdom's shore, to Thy shore.

Listen to the legendary Louis Armstrong and Mahalia Jackson’s  recording of “Just a Closer Walk with Thee,” as performed at the 1970 Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, Rhode Island.

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1 comment:

  1. The New Orleans jazzy versions are some of my favorites. I had no idea that this hymn had been covered by so many artists.

    Happy A to Zing!