#121 I’m a Pilgrim, I’m a Stranger

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Music only:
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1. I’m a pilgrim, I’m a stranger
Cast upon the rocky shore
Of a land where deathly danger
Surges with a sullen roar,
Oft despairing, oft despairing,
Lest I reach my home no more.

2. Misty vapors rise before me.
Scarcely can I see the way.
Clouds of darkest hue hang o’er me,
And I’m apt to go astray
With the many, with the many
That are now the vulture’s prey.

3. O my Father, I entreat thee,
Let me see thy beck’ning hand;
And when straying, may I meet thee
Ere I join the silent band.
Guide me, Father, guide me, Father,
Safely to the promised land.

Text: Hans Henry Petersen, 1835-1909
Music: Leroy J. Robertson, 1896-1971

-History: (Source: Wikipedia)

Written By: Hans Henry Petersen

Hans Henry Petersen (25 December 1835-18 December 1909) was a Latter-day Saint hymnwriter. His most notable work is the hymn “Secret Prayer”.

Petersen was born near the town of Slagelse in Denmark. He was raised as a Lutheran. His early years were spent working on a farm, as an apprentice weaver and then in a grist mill. In June 1853 Petersen and his father were baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In 1857 Petersen was called as an LDS missionary to serve in Denmark. He was branch president at Svenstrup and later District president in Copenhagen. In 1862 Petersen emigrated to the US along with his parents and five siblings. He also married Julia Maria Larsen on the ship they were leaving Denmark on on 19 April 1862. The marriage was performed by O. N. Liljenquist. Julia was from Helsingor and had joined the Church despite her parents opposition and had been disowned by them.

They sailed to New York and then took the trains to Florence, Nebraska. Petersen and family joined one of the down and back companies of wagons sent out from Utah. He was placed in command of a group of about 400 for the journey to Utah.

Petersen first settled in Manti, Utah but later moved to Salt Lake City. He organized a Scandinavian choir in that city. In 1868 he moved again, this time to Hyrum, Utah.

In Hyrum Petersen served as city recorder, a Justice of the Peace, city marshall and a member of the school board. In the church he served as ward choir director and assistant superintendent of the Sunday school. When the Hyrum Stake was formed he was also its choir director.

Music By: Leroy J. Robertson

Leroy Robertson (December 21, 1896 – July 25, 1971) was an American composer and music educator.

Robertson was born in Fountain GreenUtah. One of his earliest instructors was Anthony C. Lund.[1] He studied violin, composition, and public school music at the New England Conservatory and in Europe. He received an MA degree from the University of Utah and a Ph.D from the University of Southern California. He was chairman of the music department atBrigham Young University from 1925 to 1948 and at the University of Utah from 1948 to 1962.

Robertson was instrumental in the promotion of the Utah Symphony and of classical music in Salt Lake City.

He is best known for his Oratorio from the Book of Mormon. The setting of the Lord’s Prayer from that oratorio was recorded by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and released as a 45 single on the flip side of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, which hit the top 50 charts.

Amongst Robertson’s works in the 1948 LDS hymnal was the music for “Up! Arose Thee, O Beautiful Zion”, with words by Emily H. Woodmansee.[2]

In the 1985 edition of the LDS hymnal there is one hymn with words by Robertson and eight hymns for which he wrote the music. “On This Day of Joy and Gladness” (hymn #64) has both words and music by Robertson, while “Let Earth’s Inhabitants Rejoice” (hymn #53), “”Great King of Heaven” (hymn #63), “God of Our Fathers, Know of Old” (hymn #80), “I’m A Pilgrim, I’m A Stranger” (hymn #121), “Upon The Cross Of Calvary” (hymn #184), “We Love Thy House, Oh God” (hymn #247) and “Go Ye Messengers of Glory” (hymn #262) have music by Robertson.