Jesus Loves Me

Added on by Craig Stewart.

It all began when Anna Warner was teaching Bible classes to the cadets every Sunday on Constitution Island… very near to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. In addition to teaching, Anna also spent her time writing novels with her sister Susan. Anna used the pseudonym Amy Lathrop on many of her novels, including the 1860’s best-seller “Say and Seal.” 

“Jesus Loves Me“ came from this best-selling novel. In a single chapter of this story a child lay dying with no hope for his pain to be eased and his life spared. The main character, Mr. Linden, attempts to comfort this small boy with a poem that began, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Anna’s heartfelt poem, “Jesus Loves Me” sprang out of the book’s pages and became one of the most beloved poems of that era. 

One of the novel’s many readers who memorized the poem was William Bradbury and even though Bradbury was already an accomplished composer of such hymns as “Sweet Hour of Prayer, “He Leadeth Me,” and “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand,” he was inspired in a much different way when first deciding to add a melody to Anna Warner’s poem. A lover of children’s voices, Bradbury allowed the child in his own heart to spring forth when writing the simple musical notes for “Jesus Loves Me.” Then, to fully complete his work, he added the following chorus:

Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, The Bible tells me so.

This union of the Warner poem with Bradbury’s music became one of the most beloved gospel efforts of any time.

Warner’s original poem:

“Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.

“Jesus loves me! This I know,
As He loved so long ago,
Taking children on His knee,
Saying, ‘Let them come to Me.’

“Jesus loves me still today,
Walking with me on my way,
Wanting as a friend to give
Light and love to all who live.

“Jesus loves me! He who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.

“Jesus loves me! He will stay
Close beside me all the way;
Thou hast bled and died for me,
I will henceforth live for Thee.