The Christian hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” was written by Joseph M. Scriven in 1855. The preacher wrote the hymn first in poem form when he was living in Canada. His motivation to pen the poem was to comfort him mom who resided in Ireland. The tune we know now, written to go with the lyrics of Sciven’s poem, was composed by William Bolcom and Charles Crozat Converse. Today, this is a hymn most all believers know and hold dear.
Merle Haggard’s Version of “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”
Although Haggard is known as a tough, country singer, his rendition of “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” is heartwarming and emotional. Haggard knows first hand what’s it like to need a friend when no one else seems to care. His troubled childhood, the death of his father, and his own incarceration led him to experience loneliness in a unique way. He most certainly can understand the lyrics he sings when performing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” His life experiences likely contribute to the heartful way he performs the hymn, proving he believes what he is singing about, wholeheartedly.
Lyrics From “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”
The whole song is uplifting and encouraging for believers. In particular, the following lyrics stand out as noteworthy:
“Have we trials and temptation/Is there trouble anywhere/We should never be discouraged/Take it to the Lord in prayer. Oh, what peace we often forfeit/Of what needless pain we bear/All because we do not carry/Everything to God in prayer.”
Enjoy Haggard’s performance of this beautiful, meaningful hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”