“The Garden Hymn”


"The Lord into his garden comes, the flowers yield a rich perfume." The hymn describes how God's presence brings life to the garden. Jesus will "conquer all his foes And make his people one."


The authorship of this piece is somewhat dubious. It's usually credited to Jeremiah Ingalls, but sometimes to William Campbell. In the 1971 Sacred Harp Campbell is given credit as "Translator," whatever that means in the context of an English-language hymn. Sacred Harp gives Alexander Johnson as composer of the tune, but Amelia Ramsey, in her notes to the Stewart's Chapel recording, credits Ingalls for the tune as well. - PJS

Which mostly proves how confused the data in the Sacred Harp can be. John Martin writes to note that many of the Sacred Harp editions lack this piece, and others give different attributions.

Martin adds that he has searched the works of Ingalls, and finds the poem there, in a form rather different from the Sacred Harp version (e.g. it lacks the part about Jesus conquering his foes). Ingalls, Martin writes, "describes the words as 'att. John Stocker, 1777.'"

I finally gave up and decided to eliminate all author references for the piece. In any case, chances are that any version you hear is composite. - RBW


  • Singers from Stewart's Chapel, Houston, MS, "Nashville" (on Fasola1)


  1. Chase, pp. 158-159, "The Garden Hymn" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #11502
  3. BI, Cha158


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1800 (published by author)
Keywords: religious nonballad
Found in: US