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  • Writer's pictureDr. Roger D Duke




"Love Lifted Me" is a popular hymn written by James Rowe. The lyrics draw from the stories of Jesus and his disciples at sea from the book of Matthew. Rowe plays upon the idea of sinking in water to sinking in sin and that Jesus can lift us out of despair to salvation. Internet Citation:

First Verse:

I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,

Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more; But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry,

From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.

Refrain / Chorus:

Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, Love lifted me. Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, Love lifted me.

Second Verse:

All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I'll cling, In his blessed presence live, ever his praises sing. Love so mighty and so true merits my soul's best songs; Faithful loving service, too, to Him belongs. [Refrain]

Third Verse:

Souls in danger, look above, Jesus completely saves; He will lift you by His love out of the angry waves; He's the master of the sea, billows His will obey; He your Savior wants to be, be saved today. [Refrain]

Lyrics by James Rowe / Music by Howard E. Smith

Pseudonym: James S. Apple. James Rowe was born in England in 1865. He served four years in the Government Survey Office, Dublin Ireland as a young man. He came to America in 1890 where he worked for ten years for the New York Central & Hudson R.R. Co., then served for twelve years as superintendent of the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society. He began writing songs and hymns about 1896 and was a prolific writer of gospel verse with more than 9,000 published hymns, poems, recitations, and other works. Dianne Shapiro, from "The Singers and Their Songs: sketches of living gospel hymn writers" by Charles Hutchinson Gabriel (Chicago: The Rodeheaver Company, 1916)

Composer Howard E. Smith (1863-1918) was a church musician and organist in Connecticut [and wrote the musical score for the hymn].

[The hymn] . . . gained popularity among United Methodists as one of the frequently sung songs in The Cokesbury Hymnal, where it appeared with three stanzas. The original stanza two was omitted in Worship & Song:

[It is also interesting that] Country singer Kenny Rogers recorded a secularized version of

"Love Lifted Me" on his first solo album for United Artists Records (Love Lifted Me, 1976). It had been released as a single in 1975 and went to #19 on the U.S. Country charts and crossed over to the U.S. Hot 100 list at #97. In Rogers' version there is nothing sacred, and he substitutes his own verse while retaining an adaptation of the refrain.

The above hymn background was adopted, adapted, and edited by Dr. Roger D Duke of The Duke Consulting Group. Citation/Internet address:

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