Complainer (William Walker)

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Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2018-07-03).   Score information: 7 x 10 inches (landscape), 1 page, 48 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Notes in four-shape format, as published in 1835. Five stanzas included.

General Information

Title: Complainer
First Line: I am a great complainer
Composer: William Walker
Lyricist: Anonymous

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: Sacred   Meter: 76. 76. D

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1835 in Southern Harmony, p. 18, for three voices: Treble-Tenor-Bass; Alto part added by Walker in his Christian Harmony, 1867

Description: This tune was also arranged by William Hauser in 1848. This is in The Sacred Harp, p. 141, 1844 to the present, in three parts until the 1911 edition, when William Walker's Alto was added. Words by an unknown author, apparently first published in Southern Harmony, 1835, with five stanzas.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

1. I am a great complainer,
That bears the name of Christ;
Come, all ye Zion's-mourners,
And listen to my cries:
I’ve many sore temptations,
And sorrows to my soul;
I feel my faith declining,
And my affections cold.

2. O Lord of life and glory,
My sins to me reveal;
And by thy love and power,
My sin-sick soul be healed.
I thought my warfare over,
No trouble I should see,
But now I'm like the lonely dove
That mourns on the wavering tree.


3. I wish it was with me now
As is the days of old,
When the glorious light of Jesus
Was flowing in my soul;
But now l am distressed,
and no relief can find,
With a hard deceitful heart,
And a wretched wandering mind.

4. It is great pride and passion,
Beset me on my way;
So I am filled with folly,
And so neglect to pray;
While others run rejoicing,
And seem to lose no time,
I am so weak I stumble,
And so I’m left behind.


5. I read that peace and happiness
Meet Christians in their way,
That bear their cross with meekness,
And don't neglect to pray;
But I, a thousand objects
Beset me on my way,
So I am filled with folly,
And so neglect to pray.