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Words: Lewis Hensley, 1867 Music: St. Cecilia, Kingsland Krist' ki 'joba Re de, Ki ase Re bere; F' opa-rin Re fo Gbogbo...

Tuesday, 3 December 2013


I will never forget this hymn (the Yoruba translation) that was a popular go-to-bed hymn in those days when I was growing up. It's a song rich in meaning:


Ka to sun Olugbala wa
Fun wa nibukun ale
A jewo ese wa fun O
Iwo lo le gba wa la
Bi ile tile su dudu
Okun ko le se wa mo
Iwo eni ti kii saare
So awon eniyan Re

Ni irele a fara wa
Sabe abo Re Baba
Jesu 'Wo to sun bi awa
Se orun wa bi tire
Emi mimo rado bo wa
So wa lokunkun oru
Tit'awa yo fi ri ojo
Imole ayeraye

B'iparun tile yi wa ka
Ti ofa n fo wa koja
Awon angeli yi wa ka
Awa o wa lailewu
Sugbon biku ba ji wa pa
T'ibusun wa diboji
Je kile mo wa sodo Re
Layo atalafia. 

Source: Yoruba Baptist Hymnal #61
Saviour, breathe an evening blessing
Ere repose our spirits seal;
Sin and want we come confessing:
Thou canst save, and Thou canst heal.
Though the night be dark and dreary,
Darkness cannot hide from Thee;
Thou art He who, never weary,
Watchest where Thy people be.

Though destruction walk around us,
Though the arrow past us fly,
Angel guards from Thee surround us;
We are safe if Thou art nigh.
Should swift death this night o’ertake us,
And our couch become our tomb,
May the morn in heaven awake us,
Clad in light and deathless bloom.

Father, to thy holy keeping
Humbly we ourselves resign;
Savior, who hast slept our sleeping,
Make our slumbers pure as thine
Blessed Spirit, brooding o’er us,
Chase the darkness of our night,
Till the perfect day before us
Breaks in everlasting light.
James Edmeston (10 September 1791 – 7 January 1867) was an English architect and surveyor; he was also known as a prolific writer of church hymns.
He was born in Wapping, Middlesex, England. His maternal grandfather was the Reverend Samuel Brewer, congregationalist pastor at Stepney Meeting House for 50 years. However James was attracted to the Church of England and soon became an Anglican. [Read more.]


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  2. It made more sense to me as I stood at my father's graveyard singing this song. It was his favorite for evening prayers.