“The Little Brown Church in the Vale (The Church in the Wildwood)”


"There's a church in the valley by the wildwood, No lovelier spot in the dale; No place is so dear to my childhood...." "Come to the church in the wildwood, Oh, come to the church in the dale." The singer recalls the joys of church as both child and adult


According to Johnson, this is largely about an actual church built in the 1860s in the town of Bradford, Iowa (near present-day Nashua). Bradford was bypassed by the railroads, and withered away, but as of his writing, the church still stood. - RBW


  1. ADDITIONAL: Charles Johnson, One Hundred and One Famous Hymns (Hallberg, 1982), pp, 172-173, "The Little Brown Church in the Vale" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #4970
  3. BI, BdLBCitV


Author: William S. Pitts
Earliest date: 1867 (source: Johnson)
Keywords: religious nonballad
Found in: US