This is a hymn I grew up with at my Catholic school, Immaculate Heart of Mary. As soon as June came, I knew we would sing Heart of Jesus, Hear during the Offertory at daily Mass.
There is a beautiful descant for the chorus. If your children get comfortable with the main melody, you should give it a try! I included it in the sheet music below.
I sung this almost every night to my boys a couple years ago; it makes a great bedtime song. I hope that they sing it to their kids when they grow up, too!
The text is tender, and makes my heart yearn for heaven (one sign of a good quality devotional hymn.) The thoughts of resting in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and pleading Him to “never let us part”, have continually touched my heart over the many years of singing this hymn.
Option 1: Original version from 1921, arranged by Victor Hammell
Option 2: An arrangement I made
It’s in a lower key, with the rhythm I’m familiar with, and the descant separated out until the 3rd repeat of the chorus. (for beginner learning’s sake)
Option 3: Alternate melody from 1907
Although the title is a little different (Heart of Jesus Meek and Mild), the text is the same. This (I think original) version is in the Sisters of Notre-Dame’s Sunday School Hymn Book from 1907, found on Hymnary.org. The entire Sunday School Hymn Book can be found online, too! Visit Corpus Christi Watershed to download it.
For Option 1: Listen to a BEAUTIFUL recording done at St. Cecilia’s in Boston, provided by Catholic Devotional Hymns.
For Option 2: MIDI file that matches the sheet music I made: Heart of Jesus, Hear
Note: 1st chorus you hear the melody, 2nd chorus you hear the descant, and the 3rd chorus is both together
Heart of Jesus, meek and mild
Hear, oh hear thy feeble child.
When the tempest’s most severe,
Heart of Jesus, hear.
Sweetly, we’ll rest on thy Sacred Heart
Never from Thee, oh let us part.
Hear, then, Thy loving children’s prayer:
Heart of Jesus, Heart of Jesus, hear.
Make me Jesus wholly thine,
Change this wayward heart of mine,
Lead me through this world so drear,
Heart of Jesus hear!
When I draw my latest breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
Then, sweet Jesus, be Thou near.
Heart of Jesus, hear!
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