Scripture Verse

When he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. Luke 15:20


Robert Lowry (1826–1899)

Words & Mu­sic: Ro­bert Low­ry, in Gos­pel Hymns No. 3, ed­it­ed by Ira D. San­key, James Mc­Gra­na­han & George C. Steb­bins (New York; Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois; and Cin­cin­na­ti, Ohio: Big­low & Main and John Church, 1878) (🔊 pdf nwc).

A wi­dowed lady of cul­ture, about for­ty years of age, who was an ac­comp­lished vo­cal­ist, had ceased to sing, though her sweet voice was still in its prime.

The cause was her sor­row for her run­away boy. She had not heard from him for five years. While spend­ing a week with friends in a ci­ty dis­tant from home, her hid­den talent was be­trayed by the friends to the pas­tor of their church, where a re­viv­al was in pro­gress, and per­sua­sion that seemed to put a du­ty up­on her fin­al­ly pro­cured her con­sent to sing a so­lo.

The church was crowd­ed. With a force and feel­ing that can be ea­si­ly guessed she sang Where Is My Boy To­night? and fin­ished the first stan­za. She be­gan the se­cond…and as the con­gre­ga­tion caught up the re­frain…a young man who had been sit­ting in a back seat made his way up the aisle and sobbed, Mo­ther, I’m here!

The em­brace of that mo­ther and her long lost boy turned the ser­vice in­to a ge­ne­ral hal­le­lu­jah. At the in­qu­iry meet­ing that night there were ma­ny souls at the Mer­cy Seat who ne­ver knelt there be­fore—and the young wan­der­er was one.

Brown, pp. 446–47


Where is my wan­der­ing boy to­night—
The boy of my ten­der­est care,
The boy that was once my joy and light,
The child of my love and pray­er?


O where is my boy to­night?
O where is my boy to­night?
My heart o’er­flows, for I love him, he knows;
O where is my boy to­night?

Once he was pure as morn­ing dew,
As he knelt at his mo­ther’s knee;
No face was as bright, no heart more true,
And none was so sweet as he.


O could I see you now, my boy,
As fair as in old­en time,
When prat­tle and smile made home a joy,
And life was a mer­ry chime!


Go for my wan­der­ing boy to­night;
Go search for him where you will;
But bring him to me with all his blight,
And tell him I love him still.