Composer: Charles C. Converse

Born: Oc­to­ber 7, 1834, War­ren, Mass­a­chu­setts. Died: Oc­to­ber 18, 1918, High­wood, New Jersey. Buried: Bris­tol Cem­e­te­ry, Can­an­dai­gua, New York. Pseudonyms: Nevers Karl Re­den Revons  Go to person page >

Tune Information

Composer: Charles C. Converse (1868)
Meter: D
Incipit: 55653 11651 31532
Key: F Major


What a Friend We Have in Jesus

What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer!

Go to text page...


CONVERSE (also "Erie", named for the city in Pennsylvania where the composer lived for many years) was written in 1868 and published two years later in his Silver Wings under the pseudonym Karl Reden. The tune has also been called "Friendship." Born in Warren, Massachusetts, on October 7, 1832, Charles Crozat Converse was the son of one of the early settlers of Woburn, Massachusetts. He went to Leipzig in 1855 where he studied law and philosophy, as well as music theory and composition under Moritz Hauptmann, E. Friedrich Richter, and Louis Plaidy at the Leipzig Conservatory. There also he made the acquaintance of Franz Liszt and Louis Spohr. He returned to the United States in 1859 and graduated from the Albany, New York, Law School two years later. From 1875 he practiced law in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he was also in charge of Burdetta Organ Company. He composed a number of hymn tunes, as well as larger works. A Doctor of Music degree was offered him by Sterndale Bennett of Cambridge University in England for the five-voice double fugue at the end of his Psalm-Cantata on Psalm 126, but he declined the offer. In 1895 Rutherford College honored him with a Doctor of Laws degree. He spent his last years in Highwood, New Jersey, where he died October 18, 1918. –Hymnal Companion to the Lutheran Book of Worship


Baptist Hymnal 1991 #182
Text: What a Friend We Have in Jesus
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Full Score (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #403
  • Four-part harmony, full-score (PDF, NWC)
The Cyber Hymnal #6770
Text: Though I Speak
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
The Cyber Hymnal #7090
Text: What a Friend We Have in Jesus
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
The Cyber Hymnal #9793
Text: Dark And Thorny Is The Desert
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)
The Worshiping Church #622
Text: What a Friend We Have in Jesus
  • Full Score (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
The United Methodist Hymnal #526
Text: What a Friend We Have in Jesus
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Full Score (PDF)
Worship and Rejoice #473
Text: What a Friend We Have in Jesus


Instances (1 - 66 of 66)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
African American Heritage Hymnal #431TextPage Scan
Ambassador Hymnal: for Lutheran worship #173
An Nou Chanté! : Let's Sing! #47
Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #811
Baptist Hymnal 1991 #182TextAudioPage Scan
Baptist Hymnal 2008 #154TextFlexscorePage Scan
Celebrating Grace Hymnal #409TextPage Scan
Chalice Hymnal #585TextPage Scan
Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #403Tune InfoScoreAudio
Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #411Text
Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #547TextPage Scan
Common Praise (1998) #532Page Scan
Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #727TextPage Scan
Evangelical Lutheran Worship #742TextPage Scan
Glaubenslieder #313
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #465TextFlexscoreAudio
Himnos de la Iglesia #371
Hinário para o Culto Cristão #165
Hymnal: A Worship Book #574
Hymns and Psalms: a Methodist and ecumenical hymn book #559a
Hymns for a Pilgrim People: a congregational hymnal #408Text
Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #373bText
Hymns of Faith #100TextPage Scan
Hymns of Promise: a large print songbook #52TextPage Scan
Hymns of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints #7
Hymns of the Saints: Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints #86
Iona Abbey Music Book: songs from the Iona Abbey Worship Book #18
Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #361Text
Lift Every Voice and Sing II: an African American hymnal #109TextPage Scan
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #897TextFlexscorePage Scan
Lutheran Service Book #770TextFlexscorePage Scan
Lutheran Worship #516TextPage Scan
Mil Voces para Celebrar: Himnario Metodista #257
Moravian Book of Worship #743TextPage Scan
Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #412
Presbyterian Hymnal: hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs #403
Protestant Madagascar Hymnal, 2001 #617
Rejoice Hymns #244
Rejoice in the Lord #507TextPage Scan
Secular Hymnal: 144 hymn tunes made inclusive for all #78TextPage Scan
Sheng tu shi ge = Hymnary (聖徒詩歌) #387
Sheng tu shi ge = Hymnary (聖徒詩歌) #550
Sing Joyfully #162TextPage Scan
Sing the Faith #2145
Singing the Faith #531
Small Church Music #2Audio
Soul-stirring Songs & Hymns (Rev. ed.) #355
The Celebration Hymnal: songs and hymns for worship #630TextPage Scan
The Covenant Hymnal: a worshipbook #399
The Cyber Hymnal #6770TextScoreAudio
The Cyber Hymnal #7090TextScoreAudio
The Cyber Hymnal #9793TextScoreAudio
The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #435TextPage Scan
The New Century Hymnal #506TextPage Scan
The New National Baptist Hymnal #340
The United Methodist Hymnal #526TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan
The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement II #43
The Worshiping Church #622TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan
Timeless Truths #885Text
Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #629TextFlexscorePage Scan
TTT-Himnaro Cigneta #178Tune InfoTextAudio
Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of The United Church of Canada #664TextPage Scan
Worship and Rejoice #473TextScoreAudioPage Scan
Worship in Song: A Friends Hymnal #130TextAudio
生命聖詩 - Hymns of Life, 1986 #433
찬송과 예배 = Chansong gwa yebae = Come, Let Us Worship: the Korean-English Presbyterian hymnal and service book #333
Include 261 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us