“Am I Born to Die? (Idumea)”


"And am I born to die, To lay this body down, And must my trembling spirit fly Into a world unknown?" "Waked by the trumpet sound, I from my grave shall rise, To see the Judge with glory crowned..." "I must from God be driv'n, Or with my Savior dwell...."


Lomax compares the tune to "Lord Lovel." It appears in the shape note books as "Idumea" (the Sacred Harp has a second tune, "World Unknown," listed as by H. S. Reese, but this doesn't seem to be well known). That the tune "Idumea" is traditional cannot be denied. There is more doubt about the words.

In the Missouri Harmony, the tune Idumea has the lyric "My God, my life, my love, To thee, to thee I call; I cannot live, if thou remove, For thou art all in all." - RBW

Same tune

  • When Sorrows Encompass Me 'Round (File: Wa094)

Cross references

  • cf. "World Unknown" (tune)


  • Singers from Stewart's Chapel, Houston, MS, "World Unknown"; "Iduimea" (on Fasola1)


  1. Lomax-FSNA 125, "Am I Born to Die?" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #6678
  3. BI, LoF125


Author: Words: Charles Wesley / Music: Ananias Davidson?
Earliest date: 1753
Found in: US