My song is love unknown

My song is love unknown,
  My Savior's love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
  That they might lovely be.
    O who am I,
    That for my sake
    My Lord should take
    Frail flesh, and die?
He came from His blest throne
  Salvation to bestow;
But men made strange, and none
  The longed-for Christ would know:
    But oh, my Friend,
    My Friend indeed,
    Who at my need
    His life did spend.
Sometimes they strew His way,
  And His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
  Hosannas to their King:
    Then "Crucify!"
    Is all their breath,
    And for His death
    They thirst and cry.
They rise and needs will have
  My dear Lord made away;
A murderer they save,
  The Prince of life they slay.
    Yet cheerful He
    To suffering goes,
    That He His foes
    From thence might free.
In life, no house, no home
  My Lord on earth might have;
In death, no friendly tomb,
  But what a stranger gave.
    What may I say?
    Heav'n was His home;
    But mine the tomb
    Wherein He lay.
Here might I stay and sing,
  No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King,
  Never was grief like Thine.
    This is my Friend,
    In whose sweet praise
    I all my days
    Could gladly spend.
Ja Goebel

Duncanville, TX, United States

There is another set of words, most beautiful for this tune- John Kent's lyrics:

One of the stanzas says:

Preserved by Jesus when, my feet made haste to hell.

And there should I have gone but Thou dost all things well.

Thy love was great, Thy mercy free,

Which from the pit delivered me.

Steve Miller

Detroit, Michigan, United States

We sang this song at church this past Sunday. A brother shared that "yet for the joy to suffering goes" (see change to stanza 4 below) refers to us. We are that joy that the Lord saw as His prize to be willing to endure the cross. That joy is both for us corporately as His church, and for each of us individually as saved sinners.


Oxford, United Kingdom

My favourite hymn

Egidio Beltran

Temuco, Chile

en español esta este himno,o alguien tiene este himno en español es muy disfrutable!

Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

I think an improvement to stanza 4 would be to change "cheerful He" to "for the joy", which is true according to Hebrews 12:2 and keeps the intention of the hymn's author.

Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

Samuel Crossman was associated with the Bristol Cathedral in England and became its dean shortly before his death. He published a small book called "The Young Man's Meditation." This hymn was lost for nearly 200 years until it was revived in 1868 in the "Anglican Hymn Book." - Songs of the Spirit by Martin


In stanza 4, the word "cheerful" is not accurate to describe the Lord's emotions while being led to the cross. Some hymnals have changed it to "steadfast" (I think correctly).


There is an additional stanza following stanza 3 above:

Why, what hath my Lord done?

What makes this rage and spite?

He made the lame to run,

he gave the blind their sight.

Sweet injuries!

Yet they at these

themselves displease,

and 'gainst him rise.


Kampala, Uganda

Thank You Lord that never was love, never was grief so great like Thine. And this is our Friend, He is right in our spirit, we need to spend endless days singing His praise!


Fullerton, CA, United States

This is another gem hymn on the Lord's dynamic complete suffering as a God-man, with the Father's compassion and forgiveness of the sins of all mankind. What a hymn of the divine and mystical truth signified by His all-inclusive and all-encompassing death on the cross. Amen!! Thank You Lord Jesus for Your marvelous accomplishment. You alone art worthy to be praised!

William Brown

Corpus Christi, Texas, United States

It melts my heart to love the Lord despite my unworthiness. Such a lovely song of Love Unknown.


United States

Sing verse 4 with "I" instead of "they". Before salvation, we were all prodigal sons, asking for our inheritance, considering our father/master as dead, and we were also dead to him. Yet He died to make us alive to Him. Very moving.

Piano Hymns