Let The Lower Lights Be Burning

Phillip Bliss 1871

 

I learned this from Kendall Morse in the 1960s it was popular along this coast a generation before mine. We've heard three different stories of how this song came to be, all involving a ship disaster on the Great Lakes. Phillip Bliss was a well-known evangelist who heard one of these stories and wrote the song.

 

The January Men and Then Some

 

Brightly beams out father's mercy

From the Lighthouse evermore

But to us he gives the keeping

Of the lights along the shore

 

Let the lower lights be burning

Send their gleam across the wave

Some poor fainting, struggling seaman

You man rescue, you may save

 

Dark the night of sin has settled

Loud the angry billows roar

Eager eyes are watching, longing

For the lights along the shore

 

Trim your feeble lamp, my brother

Some poor sailor, tempest-tossed

Trying now to reach the harbor

In the darkness may be lost

 

 

 

Let the Lower Lights Be Burning is recorded on the album In Concert