The following introduced the song:
On the steam ferry boat plying between Liverpool and Birkenhead there might have been seen a few years ago a poor crippled boy, his body was grown almost to man’s size, but his limbs were withered and helpless, and not bigger than the limbs of a child. He used to wheel himself about in a small carriage.
He had a little musical instrument on which he played, and while he never asked for anything, very few of the passengers could hear his sweet music, or look at his honest, cheerful face, without dropping a penny or two into his carriage.
One day a lady was standing near, looking at him with great pity; she thought how sad and lonely he must feel, unable to help himself, and with no prospect of ever being any better in this world, and turning to a friend who was with her, she said,Poor boy, what a sad life he has to lead, and nothing in all the future to look forward to.
She did not intend that he should hear this remark, but he did hear it, and as she was leaving the boat she saw a tear in his eye, and a bright smile on his face trying to chase the tear away, as he said,I’m expecting to have wings some day, lady.
There’s a voice that comes in my lonely hours,
And tenderly speaks to me
Of rest and home in my Father’s house,
Where happy my soul shall be.
I shall have wings, beautiful wings,
I shall have wings some day—
Bright wings of love from God above
To bear my glad soul away.
O I sit and think of those radiant wings,
By faith I behold them now,
And feel the hand of my Savior laid
So lovingly on my brow.
There’s a home for me, there’s a home for me,
My Savior has told me so,
Were tears of sorrow and pain shall cease
And pleasure eternal flow.
Oh the wings, the wings that I soon shall wear,
And joyfully speed my flight
From toil and care to a mansion fair
Of beauty and endless light.