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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, 12 July 2016

Sinmi Le Apa Ayeraye/Leaning On The Everlasting Arms

Anthony J. Showalter and Elisha A. Hoffman, pub.1887


Idapo didun, ayo atoke wa
’Sinmi le apa ayeraye
Ibukun pupo, ifokanbale
’Sinmi le apa ayeraye

Refrain:
Sinmi, sinmi
Eru ko ba mi, aya ko fo mi
Sinmi, sinmi
Sinmi le apa ayeraye

Bo ti dun to lati rin ajo yii
’Sinmi le apa ayeraye
B'ona na ti n’mole sii lo'jumo
’Sinmi le apa ayeraye

N o se wa foya, n o se wa beru,
’Sinmi le apa ayeraye
Okan mi bale, Jesu sunmo mi
’Sinmi le apa ayeraye

Translated to Yoruba by Ayobami Temitope Kehinde, 2016
What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Refrain:
Leaning, leaning,
Safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Oh, how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
Oh, how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms?
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.


 The Story

As the story goes, one day in 1887 Anthony J. Showalter (1858-1924), a Presbyterian elder and principal of a music school in Dalton, Georgia, was leading a singing school in a local church in Hartselle, Alabama. After dismissing the class for the evening, he returned to his boardinghouse and found that two letters had arrived, both from former students of his. And each had recently suffered the same heartbreaking loss, the death of his wife. Seeking to comfort them, Showalter wrote back to the young men and included this passage from Deuteronomy 33:27: "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms . . ."  Reflecting on these words, Showalter thought of a simple stanza: "Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; Leaning, Leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms." After finishing the letters, Showalter wrote another to his friend, Presbyterian minister and hymnist Elisha Albright Hoffman (1839-1929), saying, "Here is the chorus for a good hymn from Deuteronomy 33:27, but I can't come up with any verses."  Hoffman obligingly wrote three stanzas and sent them back to his friend in Dalton. Showalter (or, perhaps his nephew Sam E. Duncan) then set the text to music, and published it later that year in the hymnal Glad Evangel for Revival, Camp, and Evangelistic Meetings. The result was one of America's most beloved gospel songs, Leaning on The Everlasting Arms. 

Click to read on here.

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