Words by: Sarah F. Adams (1805-1848) in 1840 

Music by: Arranged by Lowell Mason (1792-1872) in 1859

   Benjamin Flower was an English journalist. Some considered him too radical for his times. He was imprisoned for six months. An English girl, whom he later married, frequently visited him in prison. 

   Their daughter was Sarah Flower (later Adams). She was brilliant and had varied talents. Because of poor health, she dismissed all thoughts of a career she had long dreamed about. She began to write. In the field of writing she gained her greatest achievement. 

   The hymn, “Nearer, My God, to Thee,” will immortalize her as long as time lasts. 

   It is said to be the greatest hymn ever written by a woman.


"Nearer, My God, to Thee" is a 19th century Christian hymn by Sarah Flower Adams, based loosely on Genesis 28:11–19, the story of Jacob's dream. Genesis 28:11–12 can be translated as follows: "So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it..."

It is most famous as the alleged last song the band on RMS Titanic played before the ship sank.




Reader's Digest Family Songbook of Faith and Joy,  William L. Simon, editor.   Montreal, QC:  The Reader's Digest Association (Canada) Ltd, 1975.

Hymns of Glorious Praise, Springfield, Missouri:  Gospel Publishing House, 1969.

Sarah F. Adams (1805-1848)     Lowell Mason (1792-1872) 

LYRICS:  Nearer My God to Thee

  • Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
    E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
    Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. 

Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

  • Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
    Darkness be over me, my rest a stone;
    Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee.
  • There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n;
    All that Thou sendest me, in mercy giv’n;
    Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee.
  • Then, with my waking tho'ts bright with Thy praise,
    Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;
    So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee.
  • Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky,
    Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly,
    Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.