Sparkling Vintage Fiction. Among other things.

Sunday Serenade: Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

A popular gospel song in the early years of the 20th century was “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.” Here’s a version I like (yes, that’s Andy Griffith a.k.a. Sheriff Taylor on the far right, standing next to the bride who, if memory serves, is Barney Fife in disguise).

According to Liz Tolsma at Hymn Sing, “Anthony Showalter was leading a singing school in an Alabama church in 1887. When he returned to his boardinghouse room one night, two letters awaited him. Both were from former students, and both men told of the recent loss of their wives. Mr. Showalter wrote back, seeking to comfort the young men in the midst of their grief.

“But what to write? When he came to the end of each letter, he wanted to include a Bible verse. He picked Deuteronomy 33:27, ‘The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms ….'”

And that’s how “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” came to be. Have a blessed Sunday!

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