Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing (iTunes)
Words by Robert Robinson, Music by Asahel Nettleton
From the album Roots Run Deep (BEC Recordings)
"Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" was penned by English pastor Robert Robinson (1735-1790) when he was 22 years old, having been converted to Christianity after years of youthful rebellion. These lines from hymnary.org describe the text -- "Using imagery of Christ as the giver of living water and the shepherd gathering his sheep back into the fold, this hymn reminds the worshipper of the ever bountiful grace of God. Like Robinson, we too are 'prone to wander,' and are quick to seek redemption through our own power. But God continues to bring us back from our wandering, until, songs of praise on our lips, we dance forever before the mount of his redeeming love." In the second verse of his hymn, Robinson includes a lyric that often bewilders singers -- "Here I raise my Ebenezer." The line alludes to 1 Samuel 7:3-12, a story where Samuel cries out to God on behalf of the Israelites to save them from a Philistine attack. When God provides protection and victory, Samuel builds a monument to God's help and faithfulness and names it "Ebenezer," which means "stone of help."
The authorship of this hymn's tune, NETTLETON, is somewhat unclear, but American evangelist Asahel Nettleton (1783-1844) is often give credit for the melody. It first appeared in print in Wyeth's Repository of Sacred Music in 1813.