This page was created by Donal Hegarty.  The last update was by Alisa Clapp-Itnyre .

Sounding Childhood

There’s a Friend for little children

Albert Midlane, a prolific writer of hymns, is best known for the children’s hymn, “There’s a Friend for little children,”found in ¼ of the hymn books of my study.  It was published in 1859 in Good News for the Little Ones.  The impact on hymn-singers in England was demonstrated in that, when its author was in financial need a number of years later, donations rolled in to express singers’ gratitude (Nutter and Tillett, Hymns and Hymn Writers of the Church 355).  Its five verses are built upon the consistent phrase, “There’s a [    ] for little children” into which are supplied the concepts of Friend, rest, home, song, and crown… all existing “Above the bright blue sky.”  A song about heaven, it registers comfort but also a vibrancy, especially when set to the anonymously written tune (“Children’s Friend”) found in 282 Hymns and Melodies (Inglis, 1893).

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