Lord / Dear Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole
Lord / Dear Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole. James L. Nicholson* (ca. 1828–1876).
This hymn is often referred to as ‘Whiter than snow’. It first appeared with a tune by Philadelphia piano salesman, choral conductor, and composer William G. Fischer (1835–1912) as one of twelve hymns in a Methodist pamphlet entitled Joyful Songs No. 4 (Philadelphia, 1872). Seven of the selections contained tunes by Fischer (Reynolds, 1976, p. 135). The following year the text only was included in Chapel Treasures (Philadelphia, 1873) with six unattributed stanzas. The refrain captures the scriptural basis for the hymn, Psalm 51:7:
Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow,
Now wash me, and I shall be...
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