The Lily of the Valley

Text: Charles William Fry
Music: William Shakespeare Hays
Genre: Hymn
Language: English (translated in Yoruba)
Scripture References: 
Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Song of Solomon 2:1; Hebrews 13:5; Revelation 22:16
Liturgical Uses/Seasons: Assurance, Confession of Faith
Themes: Love of God

The lyrics of this lovely old hymn 87 from the 1956 edition of the Baptist Hymnal called The Lily Of The Valley” or “I’ve Found A Friend In Jesus” as it is sometimes referred to, were written in 1881 by Charles William Fry (1837–1882), with music by William Shakespeare Hays. It was originally written for the Salvation Army. The words were arranged by Ira D. Sankey to the music of “The Little Old Log Cabin in The Lane” a popular circular tune of the day. The lyrics originated in England.

I have found a friend in Jesus is one of the hymns that we love singing in Nigeria. Personally, the hymn had ministered to me in so many ways whenever I am lonely, discouraged or been faced with one challenge or the other. It is a song I love to sing whenever I am communing with God in the place of prayer. This hymn always reminds me of God’s promises to His children in Isaiah 43:1-3.

In south-west Nigeria churches, people love to sing the song in there local dialect (Yoruba I. e “Mo ti ni Jesu lore, o je ohun gbogbo fun mi”) with African percussions and musical instruments, making it more lively, colourful and enjoyable as Africans will love it.


1. I have found a friend in Jesus
He’s everything to me
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul
The Lily of the valley and in Him alone I see
All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole
In sorrow, He’s my comfort in trouble He’s my stay
He tells me every care on Him to roll

He’s the Lily of the valley
He’s the bright and morning star
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul

2. He all my grief has taken and all my sorrows borne
In temptation He’s my strong and mighty tower
I have all for Him forsaken and all my idols torn
From my heart and now I know He’ll keep me by His power
Though all the world forsake me and old Satan he tempts me sore
Through Jesus I shall safely reach that goal

3. He will never ever leave me, nor yet forsake me here,
while I leave by faith and do His blessed will,
I have all for Him forsaken and all my idols torn
with His manna He my hungry soul shall feed.
Though all the world forsake me, though Satan tempt me sore,
through Jesus I shall safely reach the goal.

Contributed by Victoria Ayankemi Adeyinka.