GREAT SPECKLED BIRD“The Great Speckled Bird” is a Southern hymn whose lyrics were written by theReverend Guy Smith. The song is in the form of AABA and has a 12 bar count. It isbased on Jeremiah 12:9, “Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds roundabout are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour.” Itwas recorded in 1936 by Roy Acuff. It was also later recorded by Johnny Cash (in 1959),Hank Locklin (1962), Bert Southwood [in 1990], and Jerry Lee Lewis.The tune is the same apparently traditional melody used in the folk song “I Am ThinkingTonight Of My Blue Eyes,” originally recorded in the 1920s. The same melody was laterused in the 1952 country hit “The Wild Side of Life,” sung by Hank Thompson, and theeven more successful “answer song” performed by Kitty Wells called “It Wasn’t God WhoMade Honky-Tonk Angels.”What a beautiful thought I am thinkingConcerning a great speckled birdRemember her name is recordedOn the pages of God’s Holy Word.All the other birds are flocking ’round herAnd she is despised by the squadBut the great speckled bird in the BibleIs one with the great church of God.All the other churches are against herThey envy her glory and fameThey hate her because she is chosenAnd has not denied Jesus’ name.Desiring to lower her standardThey watch every move that she makesThey long to find fault with her teachingsBut really they find no mistake.She is spreading her wings for a journeyShe’s going to leave by and byWhen the trumpet shall sound in the morningShe’ll rise and go up in the sky.In the presence of all her despisersWith a song never uttered beforeShe will rise and be gone in a momentTill the great tribulation is o’er.I am glad I have learned of her meeknessI am proud that my name is on her bookFor I want to be one never fearingThe face of my Savior to look.When He cometh descending from heavenOn the cloud that He writes in His WordI’ll be joyfully carried to meet HimOn the wings of that great speckled bird
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