Come Ye Sinners (I Will Arise)

TITLE: Come Ye Sinners
AUTHOR:  Verses: Joseph Hart, Refrain: Debated, Tune: Walker’s Southern Harmony
CATEGORY: Author Known, Public Domain
KEYWORDS: Religious, Hymn, Jesus, God

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love and power.
He is able, He is able,
He is willing: doubt no more.

Southern_Harmony_and_Musical_Companion_The opening phrase “Come ye sinners poor and needy” has a “long history in English folk song, so much in fact that there is an entire genre called “come-all-ye” songs. In addition to drawing the attention of the audience, the phrase emphasizes the typical instructional nature of the song, and usually identifies the singer with the people being addressed. A “come-all-ye” could be to members of a dangerous profession–“Come all ye bold sailors,” or miners, or firemen, or soldiers–and was then usually a sympathetic story of the trails common to that walk of life. Equally often, there were “come-all-ye” songs addressed to the young–“Come all ye fair maidens,” or “Come all ye young fellows”– telling them cautionary tales and exhorting them to avoid pitfalls of life (often detailed from the singer’s personal experience).” (David’s Hymn Blog)

I heard this hymn often in my youth, but only fell in love with it upon hearing songwriter Jimmy Webb’s (Up, Up, and Away, By the Time I Get to Phoenix) beautiful and emotional rendition of the hymn.  

In the version of the “folk processed” hymn I catalog here, Hart’s stanzas are shortened by lopping off the last two lines, although it doesn’t seem to have damaged the content. Added to the changes in Hart’s stanzas, the refrain “I will arise and go to Jesus” was added. If interested, see the excellent and extremely thorough blog entry discussing this version of Come Ye Sinners on David’s Hymn Blog for Come Ye Sinners (I Will Arise). In it Hamrick discusses the addition of the refrain “I Will Arise.” He also shows “the earliest appearance of this tune . . . appears to be that found in William Walker’s Southern Harmony (1835).


  • I Will Arise and Go to Jesus



LYRIC & CHORD PRO CHART: TXT-download RTF-download

Come Ye Sinners

Come ye sinners, poor and needy
Weak and wounded, sick and sore
Jesus ready stands to save you
Full of pity, love, and power

Come ye thirsty, come and welcome
God’s free bounty glorify
True belief and true repentance
Every grace that brings you nigh

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

Come ye weary, heavy-laden
Lost and ruined by the fall
If you tarry until you’re better
You will never come at all

View Him prostrate in the garden;
On the ground your Maker lies;
On the bloody tree behold Him;
Sinner, will this not suffice?

Lo! th’ incarnate God ascended,
Pleads the merit of His blood:
Venture on Him, venture wholly,
Let no other trust intrude.

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

Let not conscience make you linger,
Not of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms


  • Folk Song Index: A Comprehensive Guide to the Florence E. Brunnings Collection, Florence E. Brunnings, Garland Publishing, Inc., New York and London 1981—Amazon Books

NOTICE: I’m not the best guitar player or vocalist, but no one loves these songs more than I do. The tune and lyrics are in the public domain unless otherwise noted. The recording © copyright 2013 by Stephen Griffith and may be used by permission of the copyright holder. The variation of the song I’m posting is the version I perform and is not exactly replicating the sources cited, but is always in the same song family. If anyone has more details about this song, or believes I’ve stated something in error, please let me know. I’m also open to suggestions to improve the site. Thanks. sgg

One comment

  • Mark
    April 23, 2013 - 2:17 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed the latest post especially the history and the shape note version!

    By the way, I am still having trouble opening the txt and RFT files.

    I am on Win 8. Maybe I need a zip app?

    Thanks again!

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