Below is a jpeg of the words and chords (“lead sheet”) to the hymn Abide With Me. I have been putting together a number of songs lately because I have started singing at the local hospital. I really want to work with people who are in long term or palliative care, who can’t leave their area to go to an auditorium. The guitar can go anywhere – even to someone’s bedside.
Initially they had me singing in the main lobby and now the medical checks have been done so that the hospital knows I am not a risk to infect patients with TB or measles. I started singing “upstairs” just last Monday, so I’ve been searching for lyrics to the old, protestant hymns, figuring they will come in handy. I already have a lot of RC songs from my (former) decades as a liturgical musician with a local RC church. I like the main lobby gig too, so I’ll keep doing it.
Abide With Me is a hymn that has a lot of musical merit. I was not totally happy with the chords I found on the web, so I modified the song, working largely from memory of how it sounds. A site called musicnotes.com made a good start on the song, by William Henry Monk (music) and Henry F. Lyte (lyrics). They only had music up for the first eight bars, and I transposed it from Eb to D. I think the second eight bars sound pretty good, too. I love the progression Bm –> A –> G above the words “helpless, oh” in the last line of verse one. Hope someone out there gets some use out of these chords. Note: I’ve only fully chorded the first two verses in order to keep the song to one page. They’re all the same, anyway.
I sing secular and religious songs from the jazz of the 40’s and the hymns of the 19th century all the way to more modern stuff. Buddy Holly, Sarah McLachlan, Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Bob Marley, Billie Holiday, Eric Clapton, Otis Redding, Louis Armstrong, Leonard Cohen, in fact, most of the folk singers. My memory works well for faces, names and songs, but not for numbers or card games – hopeless. Anyway, good luck. Let me know if you have any suggestions for improvement. Wouldn’t mind doing Wembley Stadium for the FA Cup someday 😉
4 thoughts on “Abide With Me – Lyrics and Chords”
Thanks for putting this up. I’ve been playing it on the piano all week. Would love to have some more hymn chord sheets like this.
Thanks, Nate. It’s great to get feedback like this. I play all sorts of stuff as a volunteer in the local hospital. While my site is not dedicated to music alone, when I work on a beautiful song that’s not easily found complete on the Web I’ll put it up. This post was an impulse event. Your appreciation encourages me to do more 🙂
Today an unidentified (I have deleted the comment in case it is spam) “Person” has commented that these chords do not work with this song as the song is in F major. The chords in this post will play the song in D major. I assume that “Person” is trying to play along with a youtube version of the song in F major. This is not a problem for a guitarist, who can place a capo across fret 3. Doing this will make a D maj chord sound like F maj, and away you go… If you are playing an electronic keyboard that can be transposed, raise its register 3 semitones and play the above chords. They will sound like F maj. Hope this helps.