Sleep on Beloved


Jon simply says, “Also from the first Waterson:Carthy album, if you don’t have it, buy it!” There was me thinking this was a bit hymnal and then I read the Waterson:Carthy sleeve notes that confirmed it. You can do the same courtesy of Reinhard’s Mainly Norfolk, where he also offers the following gem, “A website (no longer online) for an earlier version called The Christian’s Good Night commented: Words: Sarah Doudney, Psalms Of Life (published by Houlston), 1871. Music: Ira David Sankey. Doudney wrote the lyrics on the occasion of a friend’s death. Sankey saw them while in Bristol, England, and wrote music for them shortly thereafter. The song was sung at the funeral of preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon.”  And there, Me-Lud I rest my case. As for Jon’s suggestion, you know I’m going to agree with him.

You can buy the September digital album now from all good download stores:


19 Responses to “Sleep on Beloved”

  1. Shelley says:

    Beautiful – that will have to go on my “to learn” list as well.

  2. SRD says:

    Melanie (Safka) incorporated the chorus into her song The Actress which she recorded on her 1974 album Madrugada.

  3. Phil says:

    I didn’t recognise the title, but knew the song straight away – it’s had a kind of afterlife as a gospel song called “I bid you goodnight”, usually performed in a similar style but sometimes a lot more boisterously. Here’s my favourite version, by David Byrne (!).

  4. Nick Passmore says:

    See also Joseph Spence and Incerdible String Band….

  5. Nick Passmore says:

    ..or even The Incredible String Band…

  6. Susan Churchman says:

    It was good to hear the source of that mystifying line about “Jesus loves you best” in “Drunken Princess” on Jon’s album “Painted Lady”.

  7. Jane Ramsden says:

    Well, incredible! I’d have been tempted to give a bit more gusto, as I got a great feeling of when a hymn is sung in church and the congregation are lagging half to several beats behind the main singer(s)! But lovely rendition and accompaniment, and thanks to Phil, Nick and Susan for their knowledgeable and observant comments.

  8. Jane Ramsden says:

    David Byrne version: Well, definitely more upbeat, somewhat shambolic New Orleans sounding to my ill-educated ear! I think that qualifies as… ‘incerdible’…

  9. Shelley says:

    Susan – I spotted that too!

  10. Judith Parker says:

    Loved this. My mother has just passed away so it hit hard but was a comfort too. thanks Jon

  11. Oxford Trunkles says:

    I love this song! It’s one of those that just speaks straight to my heart and this version really does it for me. Thanks Jon.

  12. Mary says:

    Thank you for this Jon, posted 2 days after my Father died, it was v poignant and v timely, you have no idea how much comfort this provided. Looking forward to seeing both you and John on Monday at the Cellars.

  13. Rosie says:

    Well sung . One of my favourite songs, sad but in a comforting sort of way.

  14. R says:

    god damn you i came here to listen to good songs not to cry!

  15. Diana says:

    Such a mournful hymn, and for once I am stuck for words to convey my opinion of this. I will leave it to the all the people who have gone before with their thoughts.

  16. Jools Emerson says:

    This is a lovely singing of this song, thank you Jon.

  17. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    (Ref Two comments above- 2012)
    Good Night dear Diana…….this will be for you when I hear it through the years
    (even though I have no religion)

  18. Linda says:

    A lovely sentiment Muzza our Diana is still sadly missed

  19. John Bryson says:

    A lovely song so well sung by Jon, and very appropriate for the historical event occurring in this old country of ours

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