“Balm in Gilead”


"There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole; There is a balm... to heal the sin-sick soul." "Sometimes I feel discouraged... But then the Holy Spirit Revives my soul again." "If you can preach like Peter... Go and tell your neighbour...."


The Book of Jeremiah refers twice to Gilead's balm (Jer. 8:22, 46:11), but there is no real discussion of what it is used for nor why it is unusually effective (if it is; it is perhaps worth noting that, by Jeremiah's time, Gilead had been in foreign hands for about a century, and had been in Israelite rather than Judean hands for two centuries before that). - RBW


  • Harry C. Browne, "Balm of Gilead" (Columbia A-2179, 1917)
  • Campbell College Quartet, "There Is a Balm in Gilead" (OKeh 8900, 1931; rec. 1930)
  • Fisk University Jubilee Quartet, "There is a Balm in Gilead" (Victor 16487, 1910; rec. 1909)
  • Beverly Green, "Balm in Gilead" (on BlackAmRel1)
  • The King's Heralds, "Balm in Gilead" (Chapel CR 23, n.d.)\
  • Utica Institute Jubilee Singers, "Balm in Gilead" (Victor 21842, 1929)


  1. MWheeler, pp. 68-70, "I Come Up Out uv Egypt" (1 text, 1 tune, with this verse and several others not found in the common versions of this song; the result is sort of a bluesy spiritual)
  2. Fuson, pp. 199-200, "The Little Shepherd" (1 text, with this chorus and verses of the form "I am a little (shepherd/scholar/watchman/etc.), I (feed my master's sheep), Over the hills and mountains I daily do them keep")
  3. Silber-FSWB, p. 360, "Balm in Gilead" (1 text)
  5. Roud #11967
  6. BI, FSWB360A


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1909 (recording, Fisk University Jubilee Quartet)
Keywords: religious nonballad
Found in: US(Ap)