Hymnary Friends,

Please pardon this brief interruption, and please consider a gift today to support the work of Hymnary.org. Here's why.

Each month half a million people visit this website for free access to the most complete database of North American hymnody on the planet. But this project does not come without a cost, and we have limited sources of revenue. Twice a year we hold a fund drive, and these drives are critical to our future.

So if you benefit from Hymnary.org, would you consider a donation today? Even small amounts help, and they also let us know you're behind us and support what we do.

Click the Donate button below to be taken to a secure giving site. Or you can make your tax-deductible contribution by sending a check to Hymnary.org at 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

On behalf of the entire Hymnary.org team, our thanks.
Harry Plantinga

Jesus, Friend of All the Children

Jesus, Friend of little children, Be a Friend to me

Author: Walter J. Mathams
Published in 64 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 Jesus, friend of little children,
let me be one too;
take my hand, and ever keep me
close to you.

2 Teach me how to grow in goodness,
daily as I grow.
You have been a child, and surely
you must know.

3 Never leave me, nor forsake me;
ever be my friend;
for I need you, from life's dawning
to its end.

Source: Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of The United Church of Canada #340

Author: Walter J. Mathams

Mathams, Walter John, was born in London, Oct. 30, 1853. Early in life he went to sea; but on returning through Palestine to England he began to study for the Ministry. In 1874 he entered the Regent's Park Baptist College as a Student, and subsequently had a pastoral charge at Preston, Lancashire. In 1879, his health failing, he went for a time to Australia and other places. Returning to England, he became, in 1883, minister at Falkirk, Scotland, and in 1888, at Birmingham. Whilst a student, he published a small volume of hymns and poems as At Jesus' Feet, (1876). He is also the author of several religious books of a popular character, as: Fireside Parables, 1879; Sunday Parables, 1883, &c. His principal hymns are:— 1. Bright falls the… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Jesus, Friend of little children, Be a Friend to me
Title: Jesus, Friend of All the Children
Author: Walter J. Mathams
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



WESTRIDGE is a charming two-line tune, effective precisely because "small is beautiful." Martin F. Shaw (PHH 49) composed it in 1929 for a children's hymn, “Jesus, Friend of Little Children,” and the tune was published in Songs of Praise for Boys and Girls (1930). Sing it in unison and use light…

Go to tune page >

FARNHAM (Wheeler)

[Jesus, Friend of little children] (Maunder)



The Cyber Hymnal #3313
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


Instances (1 - 5 of 5)

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #651

Hymns and Psalms #146a

Hymns and Psalms #146b


The Cyber Hymnal #3313


Voices United #340

Include 59 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us