Music

Take My Hand

Precious lord take my hand

One of my all time favorite gospel songs is Take My Hand Precious Lord written by Thomas A. Dorsey. Even as a young girl the sense of sorrow, longing, and hope found in the song touched my heart. It’s just one of those songs that can lift your spirits even in the lowest situations of life. I suppose that is true because that’s exactly what caused Dorsey to write the song-one of the lowest situations of life.

From the website Country Music Treasures.com:

Take My Hand Precious Lord
by Thomas A. Dorsey

“This song is very dear to me. I left my home one morning with another fellow driving to St. Louis to sing in a revival at a Baptist church. My wife was going to become a mother in a few days. We got 24 miles outside of Chicago, and I discovered I had left my briefcase with all my music in it. I turned around, drove back to Chicago and went home. My wife was sleeping, and I didn’t disturb her. When I got back in the car, the other fellow said he had changed his mind and decided not to go. As it was, Providence was trying to tell me not to go away. But I went on to St. Louis, anyway. Next night, I was working in a revival, and I received a telegram: “Your wife just died. Come home.” Some fellows volunteered to drive me to Chicago, and when I got home the next day, I had the body moved. I had a bouncing baby boy. But that night, the baby died. That was double trouble. I felt like going back on God. He had mistreated me, I felt. About a week later, after we had put the baby and the wife away in the same casket, I was sitting with the late Theodore Fry, just drowsing. Just like water dropping from the crevice of a rock, the words dropped into the music, ‘Take My Hand, Precious Lord.'”
—Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey

Take My Hand Precious Lord was one of the songs Chatter and Chitter chose to sing when we returned to the Lufty Baptist Church last fall.

 

I hope you enjoyed the song, and the quote from Thomas A. Dorsey.

Tipper

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Helen Gardner
    May 19, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    Out of great sorrow beautiful music and stories are born. Thank you for this. My mom loved this song and it’s one that I’ll enjoy for the rest of my life.

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    February 25, 2014 at 8:43 am

    This is one of my favorite hymns. I never knew the story behind it until I read your post. Your daughters sang it so well. We had a duo at my childhood church who sang this song at Homecoming and occasionally at other times. This has brought back so many memories. I love your website.

  • Reply
    TimMc
    February 23, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    This song is so precious to so many.. I remember our Church would visit a Nursing Home and hold service occasionally and sing hymns, there was this elderly Black Lady whom was in a wheel chair, her body was severely bent from a stroke, she couldn’t talk very well but you knew what song she always requested, and as we would sing she in her feeble way she would try to raise her hands towards Heaven, and would just bless your heart,, she’s gone on to be with the Lord and is singing with the Heavenly, gonna see her one day, with that perfect body.. love this old song, it’s precious to me too…

  • Reply
    Patti Tappel
    February 23, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    I read your post, started the girls video and got goose bumps, by the end I had tears in my eyes just thinking about the poor soul burying his wife and baby.
    Thanks for the story.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    February 23, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Tipper,
    What a terrific job Chitter and Chatter did on that song! I was saddened by the Preacher’s loss and didn’t know about that.
    My mama was paralyzed in her left side but she taught me how to play the Piano and we’d sing “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” and other Gospel songs. She was great singing Alto to blend our music together.
    Now those ole “Arthur brothers”
    effect my fingers too much to play.
    …Ken

  • Reply
    Ken Ryan
    February 23, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I love that song. You girls sounded great. Thanks for starting our Sunday morning with it.

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    February 23, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Tipper, I have played and sang this song many time but never knew the story behind it.God has a purpose for everything. This song has been world wide and still a wonderful song.It is hard for us to understand this minister tragic ordeal such a beautiful song would arise for all the world to sing and enjoy. Sometimes at our lowest point might just be our highest with God.They man said humbly to God. Take my Hand Precious Lord” his lowest point in his life no doubt.Thanks for your post.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 23, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Tipper,
    I loved the girls singing of course! I always loved the song.
    When I looked for it in my Radio Revival Special songbook, I found on the page 29 that someone had neatly used a pair of sissors to cut it out of the book. It must have been very special to someone in the past. This book has a copyright MCMXXXIX (1939). Thank you to my husband for the translation of Roman numerals. I never did learn all of those XXXIIIVVV, etc. I did learn to write on my letter X-O-X-O on the bottom of my signature…
    At any rate, Tipper, Dorseys name appears on several songs as writer and co-writer in my books.
    Take my Hand Precious Lord being, I suppose, his most famous.
    Thanks Tipper,
    I hear a new one has been added to XOXO and that is ()’s…I think that is hugs…have a nice
    day to all….

  • Reply
    dolores
    February 23, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Amazing how occurrences in one’s life seem to bring words to paper to share with others. One can just hear the sorrow in the words and in the music itself. Great work, girls!

  • Reply
    Judy Mincey
    February 23, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Perfect! Simple elegant harmony in a great setting!

  • Reply
    Carol
    February 23, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Love this song and the girls did a really good job with it. This song is on my list of music to be played at my funeral – someday.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    February 23, 2014 at 8:00 am

    This has always been one of my favorite songs. What a sad story behind it.

  • Reply
    Roy Pipes
    February 23, 2014 at 7:44 am

    A beautiful and meaningful song.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    February 23, 2014 at 7:43 am

    I am always touched when I read Rev. Thomas Dorsey’s account of how he came to pen the words of “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.” Out of great sorrow often come the most poignant words. Creativity works that way for so many who seek to express their inner feelings. We might call it a passion for expression; or closer, still, a passion for release, an identity with what we sometimes call “the human condition”. I am a journal-keeper. In a sense, I am awed by, in love with, and sometimes overcome by thoughts and words. I want to capture ideas and lines before they leave me, and so I jot and date ideas here and there in journals. Who will ever read them all? That’s not really what matters–who will (if ever) read them in future and wonder about the occasion that inspired the lines. But Rev. Thomas Dorsey and others are testimony to the power of words, not only to absolve deep sorrow, almost too deep for words, but somehow expressed anyway. And then those who read/hear the words are likewise blessed because the words touch responsive chords, find a resting place, an identity with like emotions, and thus become a double blessing–first for the one who writes and second for the one who reads/hears and responds.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 23, 2014 at 7:18 am

    Oh my goodness, that is a sad story, it beings tears to me now. I have known and experienced the fact that the greatest sorrow can bring the greatest vision. It looks to me like we would eventually learn our true source without the pain, but that does not seem to be the case.

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