Songs & Hymns

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

This traditional hymn focuses dramatically on Christ's death on the cross. The words use contrasts, such as 'love and sorrow', to make us think about Christ's love. It is often sung in Holy Week or in communion services. This version is set to a traditional folk-tune from Somerset, known as O Waly Waly.

Download options

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ, my God:
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.

See from his head, his hands, his feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingling down:
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of Nature mine,
That were an offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Words: Isaac Watts (1674-1748) Music: Somerset folk song collected by Cecil Sharp (1859-1924)  arranged Richard Lloyd. This arrangement © 1996 Kevin Mayhew Ltd.  This song may be photocopied under the terms of the CCLE Music Reproduction Licence. CCLI Song No. 3296590. Please include all items copied in your annual report, quoting 'Worship Workshop'.

 Music produced and mixed by Nic Rowley at Vandborg Studios. Backing tracks arranged, performed and recorded by Nic Rowley, Jane Carr, James Welch and Katie Chatburn.  Recording engineer James Welch at Masterlink Productions.

Created with Spark and Bang