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I never can forget the day

I never can forget the day. Judson W. Van De Venter* (1855-1939). Dated 1895, when it was published in Gospel Songs of Grace and Glory (New York, 1896). It was one of a number of Gospel hymns which emphasises the maternal influence on the young man. There is no prima facie evidence that the singer is a man (the word ‘child’ is used in stanza 1), but in many Gospel hymns it is the young man who is in danger of falling into ruin, as in ‘Where is my wand’ring boy tonight,/ Down in the licensed saloon’ (hymn 7 in Gospel Songs of Grace and Glory). Rather than lamenting the child’s fall, this hymn emphasises the stability and goodness inculcated by the kind mother. It is called ‘My Mother’s...

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