Wondrous Love (James Christopher)

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  • (Posted 2018-06-10)  CPDL #50078:         
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2018-06-10).   Score information: Unknown, 1 page, 47 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Notes in four-shape format, as originally written in 1840. Words to first stanza as in Southern Harmony, 1840; three other stanzas included, from Mercer's Cluster, 1823, that William Walker used often.
  • (Posted 2009-11-05)  CPDL #20466:     
Editor: Michael J. Oczko (submitted 2009-11-05).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 153 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Arranged by Michael J. Oczko for organ and SATB. Also available in Polish with original text by Michael Oczko
  • (Posted 2006-08-10)  CPDL #12250:     
Editor: Mark Hamilton Dewey (submitted 2006-08-10).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 49 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Unattributed 4-part harmonization.

General Information

Title: Wondrous Love
First Line: What wondrous love is this
Composer: Anonymous
Arranger: James Christopher
Lyricist: Anonymous

Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: STB
Genre: Sacred   Meter: 66. 63. 66. 66. 63

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1840 in Southern Harmony, 1840, p. 220, for three voices, with notes in four-shape format, attributed to (James) Christopher
Description: The tune is based on The Ballad of Captain Kidd, an eighteenth-century English song (Jackson 1953a). Porter and Garst (1979) found more than twenty tunes in this unusual meter, including the present one. Words by an anonymous author, before 1811. The tune and words above appears in The Sacred Harp, 1844 to the present, on p. 159, and in many modern hymnbooks.


  • Jackson, George Pullen. 1953a. Spiritual Folk-Songs of Early America, Second Edition. Locust Valley, New York: J. J. Augustin. 254 pp.
  • Porter, Ellen Jane, and John F. Garst. 1979. More tunes in the Captain Kidd meter. The Hymn 30(3): 252-262.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Original text and translations may be found at What wondrous love is this.