JUST A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE
“Just a Closer Walk With Thee” is one of the best-known gospel songs in the world. It
was probably the favorite southern gospel song of the twentieth century and it is written
by D.Gillis. It became known nationally in the 1930s, when African-American churches
held huge musical conventions. In the 1940s, southern gospel quartets featured it in all-
night gospel-singing rallies. Rosetta Tharpe also recorded the song on December 2, 1941,
with Lucky Millinder and His Orchestra.
In 1956 Elvis Presley set sales records with it on a 45 rpm single. An unreleased home
recording also exists of Presley performing the song, made in Waco, Texas on May 27,
1958. Presley’s studio version can be heard on “Just A Closer Walk With Thee” (2000).
Tennessee Ernie Ford made the charts with it in the late 1950s. By the end of the 1970s,
more than a hundred artists had recorded the song. It is probably the single most
frequently played number in the hymn and dirge section of New Orleans “jazz funerals“.
Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.
I am weak, but Thou art strong,
Jesus, keep me from all wrong,
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.
Through this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares?
None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.
When my feeble life is o’er,
Time for me will be no more,
Guide me gently, safely o’er
To Thy kingdom, dear Lord, to Thy shore.