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My Song Is Love Unknown

Full Text

1 My song is love unknown,
my Savior’s love to me.
Love to the loveless shown,
that they might lovely be.
Oh, who am I that for my sake,
oh, who am I that for my sake
my Lord should take frail flesh and die?

2 He came from heaven’s throne
salvation to bestow;
but they refused, and none
the longed for Christ would know.
This is my friend, my friend indeed,
this is my friend, my friend indeed,
who at my need, his life did spend.

3 Sometimes they crowd his way
and his sweet praises sing,
resounding all the day,
hosannas to their King.
Then, “Crucify!” is all their breath,
then, “Crucify!” is all their breath,
and for his death they thirst and cry.

4 Why, what has my Lord done
to cause this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run
and gave the blind their sight.
What injuries, yet these are why,
what injuries, yet these are why
the Lord Most High so cruelly dies.

5 With angry shouts they have
my dear Lord done away;
a murderer they save,
the Prince of Life they slay.
Yet willingly, he bears the shame,
yet willingly, he bears the shame,
that through his name all might be free.

6 Here might I stay and sing
of him my soul adores:
never was love, dear King,
never was grief like yours.
This is my friend in whose sweet praise,
this is my friend in whose sweet praise
I all my days would gladly spend.

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Scripture References


My Song Is Love Unknown

Call to Worship

As we are called into worship today,
it is sobering to remember
that when God appeared on earth in the person of Jesus,
most of the world did not recognize him
and therefore did not worship him.
Today we ask for faith that will open our eyes
to see Jesus for who he is,
that we might worship him in truth.
People of God, behold and see your God!
We open our eyes to see his glory.
We open our ears to hear his wisdom.
We open our hands to offer him gifts.
We open our mouths to sing his praise.
We open our hearts to offer him our love.
He is Lord!
[Reformed Worship 27:42]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two


Remember that our Lord Jesus Christ is able
to sympathize with us in our weaknesses.
In every respect he was tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Let us confess our sins to almighty God.
—based on Hebrews 4:15-16, NRSV
[BCW, p 53[3],alt.,PD]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

During his whole life on earth,
but especially at the end,
Christ sustained
in body and soul
the anger of God against the sin of the whole human race.
In response to his sacrifice, let us confess our sins to God.
—based on Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 37
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two


By grace you have been saved through faith,
and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.
—Ephesians 2:8, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

During his whole life on earth,
but especially at the end,
Christ sustained
in body and soul
the wrath of God against the sin of the whole human race.
This he did in order that,
by his suffering as the only atoning sacrifice,
he might deliver us, body and soul,
from eternal condemnation,
and gain for us God’s grace,
righteousness, and eternal life.
—Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 37
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

My Song Is Love Unknown

Tune Information

F Major



My Song Is Love Unknown

Hymn Story/Background

After a time of neglect, this traditional 19th century Anglican hymn become popular, especially with the tune LOVE UNKNOWN, written for this text in 1919. But about a quarter of hymnals, including Lift Up Your Hearts, now set the newly popular text to the beloved Welsh tune RHOSYMEDRE, so that both text and tune are by contemporary 19th century Anglican priests. Over the years that text was altered slightly, and in this setting, Albert Chung also slightly adapted the tune and provided a keyboard accompaniment that has refreshed this hymn for the 21st century. 
— Emily Brink

Author Information

Samuel Crossman (b. Bradfield Monachorum, Suffolk, England, 1623; d. Bristol, England, February 4, 1683) was a minister of the Church of England and a hymnwriter.
Crossman earned a Bachelor of Divinity at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, and was Prebendary of Bristol. After graduation, he ministered to both an Anglican congregation at All Saints, Sudbury, and to a Puritan congregation simultaneously. Crossman sympathized with the Puritan cause, and attended the 1661 Savoy Conference, which attempted to update the Book of Common Prayer so that both Puritans and Anglicans could use it. The conference failed, and the 1662 Act of Uniformity expelled Crossman along with some 2,000 other Puritan-leaning ministers from the Church of England. He renounced his Puritan affiliations shortly afterward, and was ordained in 1665, becoming a royal chaplain. He received a post at Bristol in 1667, and became Dean of Bristol Cathedral in 1683. He died on 4 February 1683, at Bristol, and lies buried in the south aisle of the cathedral at Bristol.

Several of Crossman's hymns are preserved in Sacred Harp.
— Poem Hunter Bio (

Composer Information

John David Edwards (b. Penderlwyngoch, Cardiganshire, Wales, 1805; d. Llanddoget, Denbighshire, North Wales, 1885) was educated at Jesus College, Oxford, England, and ordained an Anglican priest in 1833. He served parishes in Rhosymedre and Llanddoget and published a collection of hymn tunes, Original Sacred Music (2 vols., 1836, 1843), for use in Anglican churches in Wales.
— Bert Polman

Albert Chung (b. August 22, 1986) is from South Pasadena, CA; he has an undergraduate degree in music education from UCLA and served as a band director at South Pasadena High School. His involvement in various church ministries around Southern California led him to study at Princeton Theological Seminary for his M.Div. degree (anticipated in 2014); his interest in music composition is aimed at providing accessible contemporary settings for congregational song. 
— Emily Brink
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