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He's Got the Whole World in His Hands

Full Text

1 He's got the whole world in his hands.
He's got the whole world in his hands.
He's got the whole world in his hands.
He's got the whole world in his hands.

2 He's got the wind and the rain in his hands.

(Sing three times)

He's got the whole world in his hands.

3 He's got the little tiny baby in his hands. . . .
He's got the whole world in his hands.

4 He's got you and me, brother, in his hands. . . .
He's got the whole world in his hands.

5 He's got you and me, sister, in his hands. . . .
He's got the whole world in his hands.

6 He's got everybody here in his hands. . . .
He's got the whole world in his hands.


Scripture References:
all st. = Ps. 47; 93-99

This anonymous spiritual rose out of the oral tradition of African Americans and has become one of the most widely known and loved spirituals, sung by young and old everywhere. Like other songs arising out of an oral tradition, it has many variations in both text and tune. Creating new stanzas would also be consistent with the tradition.

The text confesses the same them of the Lord’s cosmic rule that is proclaimed in the kingship psalms such as Psalm 47 and 93-99: “The Lord reigns!” The stanzas give examples of aspects of the “whole world”–nature, human creatures, and in fact, everything and everybody.

Liturgical Use:
Various occasions of worship: services that focus on creation, God’s rule and providence, family life (st. 3-5), and communion of the saints (st. 6); as a hymn of assurance.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



WHOLE WORLD is characterized by one recurring melodic and rhythmic motif. The tune is intended for unison singing and possibly some solo singing (for example, on st. 4-5), with light accompaniment on guitar or piano. Try singing some stanzas unaccompanied, clapping on beats two and four. --Psalter H…

Go to tune page >



Instances (1 - 30 of 30)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
African American Heritage Hymnal #150Text
Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #656Text
Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #306
Baptist Hymnal 1991 #346TextAudio
Church Family Worship #189
Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #819
Complete Mission Praise #225
Hymns and Psalms: a Methodist and ecumenical hymn book #25
Hymns for a Pilgrim People: a congregational hymnal #51
Hymns of Promise: a large print songbook #26Page Scan
Hymns of Truth & Light #97
Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #411
Lift Every Voice and Sing II: an African American hymnal #217Text
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #26TextAudio
Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #328
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #457Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudioPage Scan
Sing and Rejoice!: new hymns for congregations #34
Sing Joyfully #43TextPage Scan
Sing With Me #26TextPage Scan
Singing the Faith #536
Small Church Music #889Audio
Songs for Life #198TextPage Scan
The Book of Hymns (A fresh anthology of favourite hymns) #9
The Celebration Hymnal: songs and hymns for worship #586Text
The Covenant Hymnal: a worshipbook #682
The Cyber Hymnal #2336TextScoreAudio
The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #344Text
The Worshiping Church #518TextPage Scan
Worship and Rejoice #80Text
찬송과 예배 = Chansong gwa yebae = Come, Let Us Worship: the Korean-English Presbyterian hymnal and service book #70
Include 20 pre-1979 instances