The developer of this site, Robert Cottrill, went home to be with his Saviour on the 31st of August 2019, after a short illness. The site is maintained so that his work can continue to bless others.

You may still donate using the link below. Your donations are needed to keep this site online for as long as possible.


Thank you for your interest in the Wordwise Hymns blog. Over 750,000 have visited us, to date, from nearly every country of the world. The site continues to grow, week by week, as new articles are added. It now contains articles and information on well over a thousand hymns, and many topical articles as well.

You are welcome to make use of the material on this site, though I encourage you to credit me, and provide a link to this site when you can.

I’m sure you will understand that providing this free service has required many thousands of hours of work, and obtaining resources (sometimes rare ones) that can be costly.

If you would like to help, simply click on the  Donate button and it will take you to a secure site were you can make a contribution of any amount you choose. When you click the Donation button, rest assured you will land on a page that is encrypted and secure. Your information is safe with PayPal, one of the largest payment processors on the Internet.

Thank you again, and may the Lord bless you.

Robert Cottrill

Donate Button with Credit Cards


  1. A few months ago you wrote on Bev Shea. I lost the article and would like it. Can you email a copy or give me the date it was published?

    Bob McClelland

    • Thanks for writing. I have a couple of articles that relate to this wonderful gospel singer. One on his death, and another on the background of his signature song, I’d Rather Have Jesus. God bless.

      • I am coming to my 84th birthday. I have just lost my dear wife of 65yrs. God be praised for her sweet home-going in the December just past. It has since a been a journey into loneliness and grief. It is the grace and love of God that has sustained me in this period.

        I was looking at the Mary A Baker hymn, Peace Be Still” when I came across your blog. Others such as “The King of Love My Saviour Is” and “Higher Ground” have been among my constant companions in these days. As Dr David Dockery says, ‘Place your hymnal just to the left of the Bible to experience HIS blessing in personal worship.’ In the depths of my grief HE has preserved and is healing me. Praise HIM!

        The words and music from my Baptist heritage contains so many such hymns. Saved at 9 yrs of age God has filled my mind and soul with HIS message in and worship. HIS Word is most precious, but HIS music gives such clarity and expression to my heart. I was a congregational song leader for many years in our church. The privilege of making those choices week by week are among my life treasures.

        I am so very sorry the churches have gone so far away from music that centers on thought and deliberation of God’s character and purpose for HIS people in praise. I try each worship occasion to find a meaning and response in the words and sounds that berate my heart and soul. I do not often succeed in the cacophony that is called worship music. That baffles me since I also led the youth choirs for several years when the transition began. (Jesus will make it all clear.)

        God bless you and keep you in your misson for HIM.

        Dan Castleberry

      • Thank you, Daniel, for your gracious note. It was a great blessing to me. Sincere sympathy on the loss of your wife after a partnership of so many years. Praise the Lord we do not “sorrow as others who have no hope.” A grand reunion day is coming!

        For your comfort and encouragement, here’s a glorious arrangement of the hymn, Come, Ye Disconsolate. May we both be blessed by the truth it proclaims that “earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal”

        I’m not quite as far along the trail as you are, at age 77. I was saved at the age of seven, so on August 14th will celebrate my 70th spiritual birthday. Lord willing, my wife and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in June. Health issues seem to intrude more as the years go by, but Beth is still able to play the piano for our church services. And, though I’m “retired”…sort of :-), I’m still able to write, to sing, and to preach, as the Lord provides opportunities.

        Your comment from David Dockery hits the proverbial nail on the head. Too few Christians realize that, beyond the Word of God, the greatest devotional resource we have is a good hymn book. It’s a treasury of about 2,000 years of rich commentary on the Word, and testimony to Christian experience.

        As well as serving the Lord as a pastor and a Bible college professor, in past years, I’ve also had experience as a choir director and service leader. It’s been my practice, whether choosing songs for a service where I’m to preach, or where another will do so, to select congregational numbers that follow the theme of the Bible message. I want to both enhance and reinforce the preaching, and also frame our response to it.

        My son, now a church planter in Mexico City, does the same. The other day he said that he does try to use some more contemporary songs. But he finds so many of them say basically the same thing, so it’s difficult to find ones that will fit a particular theme. H-m-m! That, at one and the same time, points out a weakness of much contemporary music, and the incredible richness of our traditional hymnody. With you, I grieve that so many congregations are hymnologically illiterate. They simply do not know what they’re missing.

        We are definitely a hymn-loving family. For my birthday this year our son Jim and family gave me a blanket he designed. It’s imprinted with a gospel song I love, Bliss’s Jesus Loves Even Me. And to the left of the hymn is a section of Romans 8 that assures us nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. It has certainly received a lot of amazed comment from visitors. I wanted to send along a picture of it, but couldn’t figure out how to put a picture in a blog reply.

        God bless you, and keep you.


  2. I just wish to point out that Henry Francis Lyte was not born in Ireland but in Ednam in the Scottish Borders. He was educated at Portora School in Northern Ireland he always believed himself to be an orphan which was not the case.It was only in later life hat he learned the truth and met up again with his father. His mother died before they managed to meet again

    • Thanks so much. Don’t know how I missed that. (Senior’s moment, maybe?) It’s corrected now. Thanks again, and God bless.

  3. What a treasure your site is! I am a homeschooling mom in the U.S., using the Charlotte Mason method. Hymn study is a regular part of our curriculum, and I found information on ‘Jesus I am Resting, Resting’ that I could not find on the other hymn sites–very exciting! I so appreciate your discussion of the Biblical framework for each hymn. I am excited to recommend your site to other homeschooling families who may not be aware of it! A hymn which I used to sing when I was involved in Reformed University Fellowship in college (and still love) is ‘From The Depths of Woe’ by Martin Luther. The profoundest truths about justification, IMHO! I would love to see it appear on your list!

    • Thanks so much for your kind comments. Always glad the Lord uses my efforts. And I appreciate the reference to Martin Luther’s hymn. I’ve made a note to include it in my blogs some time this spring. God bless.

  4. I plan to use an adapted version of Mr. Cottrill’s analysis of “Faith is the Victory” with my high school freshmen this year when I teach the following two poems: “The Charge of the Light Brigade” (Tennyson) and “The Destruction of Sennacherib” (Byron). I appreciate his work in creating this hymn resource to tie in to my language arts curriculum. Best Regards!

    • Sounds interesting. And thanks for your encouraging words. If it’s practical to do so, I’d appreciate it if you would identify Wordwise Hymns as the source of your comments on the hymn. (It would be a good way to give your students an example of attribution as well.) God bless.

  5. Good morning! I found your site once again in searching for details behind ‘Standing At the Portal.’ May God bless and use you for His glory!

  6. I am trying to locate the lyrics for a song which includes, “He knows the way that I take; He knows every heartache” (Western Gospel, possibly).

    • Sorry, but I came up empty on this one. As you can see, my blog is mostly about the traditional hymns and gospel songs that are found in our hymnals. I tried various resources on the song you describe. The closest I could come is Elmo Mercer’s “Each Step I Take.” Hope you’re able to locate it elsewhere.

  7. Thanks for your effort. God bless

  8. Did you know that Bill Pearce (Nightsounds) was the son of Almeda Pearce who wrote When He Shall Come? He said she wrote it in 1933 and he later made a recording and it aired on the 8/14/2019 which was the first time i heard it. Very special and thanks for the background information posted in 2013. I just found your website when I was searching for it on the web.

%d bloggers like this: