Songs from Ecclesiastes

This is the twenty-first entry in a series on Songs from the Books of the Bible.

Southern Gospel songs focus on many of the highest themes known to mankind—songs of Salvation, the Cross, the Resurrection, and eternity. But critics claim that they focus on these themes to the exclusion of other Biblical themes which are appropriate and perhaps necessary to address in song.

For how many chapters in Ecclesiastes can we find Southern Gospel songs addressing their themes?

  • Chapter 3:1-8: He is With You (Talley Trio)
  • Chapter 3:1-8: The Bible Told Me So (Statesmen)
  • Chapter 3:2: (There’s a Time to Reap and a Time to Sow) The Bible Told Me So (Statesmen)
  • Chapter 5:8: Champion of Love (Cathedrals)
  • Chapter 11:1: Bread Upon the Water (Booth Brothers, Dixie Echoes, Gaither Vocal Band, Gaither Homecoming Friends, song by Bill & Janny Grein)
  • Chapter 11:1: Cast Your Bread Upon the Water (Gold City, Greenes, song by Joel Hemphill)
  • Chapter 11:1: I Cast My Bread Upon the Water (Cumberland Quartet, third song)
  • Chapter 12:6: Saved By Grace (The Couriers, song by Fanny Crosby and George C. Stebbins)

What others come to mind?


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12 Letters to the Editor

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  1. Nice pull on “Saved by Grace”. Haven’t heard that one in a while…”some day the silver cord will break, and I no more as now shall sing…But oh, the joy when I shall wake within the palace of the King” They don’t write ’em like that no more.

    • Thanks! My mind skipped a beat, and I’m going to bump this post to tomorrow, to allow a full day to be devoted to Stephen Hill.

      • I am the first person to comment on one of your posts 24 hours before it is published. 🙂

      • I actually think it has happened once before! 🙂

  2. I don’t know of any others, but I have an idea for a new one of any songwriters want to tackle one.

    I hear a light, jazzy quartet number out of Ecclesiastes 12:13. “The Conclusion of the Matter” The verses talk about all the questions people have and complicated explanations for everything, then the hook comes in “the conclusion of the matter” is just to “fear God” or “do right” or something like that. Probably sounds dumb, I will probably agree tomorrow, but it’s just a random thought I had this morning.

  3. Ecc 5:8 uses the phrases He is higher than the highest… Champion of Love.

    • Good thought, there! I’ll add that one now.

  4. Greetings from Wordwise Hymns. I posted an article on Fanny Crosby’s “Saved by Grace” this morning, so your post caught my eye. Yes, it’s based in part on some lines from Ecclesiastes. (If you want to know the meaning of “the silver cord,” you can check my article. I guess my one quibble with your comments is the suggestion that this is somehow a Southern Gospel song. Southern Gospel groups and soloists may use it, but Fanny Crosby was a Yankee, born and bred, and we still sing this hymn way up here in Canada. 🙂 God bless.

    • Robert, greetings! We had a great big discussion about a year ago, when I launched this series, over whether the determinative factor should be that the song was written by a Southern Gospel songwriter or whether it was performed by a Southern Gospel artist. After extensively weighing the pros and the cons of each position, we decided that the main point of the series was the theological depth of what was being performed on Southern Gospel stages, making the latter option preferable.

  5. Just added He is With You – Talley Trio to Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

  6. Just added Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – The Bible Told Me So – The Statesmen