Where No One Stands Alone

Recently I was in Germany teaching some classes for missionaries from the Churches of Christ. It was a wonderful time.

And given that this was a Church of Christ gathering there was a lot of a cappella singing. There is nothing quite like singing hymns with people raised in the Churches of Christ. Song after song the four-part harmony was beautiful.

Anyway, during the singing there was one hymn that I had never heard before. And I was immediately smitten with it.

Yes, I get smitten by gospel hymns.

The song was "Where No One Stands Alone" written by Mosie Lister in 1955. 

The lyrics (which vary a bit from version to version):
Once I stood in the night with my head bowed low
In darkness as black as the sea.
And my heart was afraid and I cried, "Oh Lord,
Don't hide your face from me."

Hold my hand all the way, every hour every day
From here to the great unknown.
Take my hand, let me stand
Where no one stands alone.

Like a king I may live in a palace so tall
With great riches to call my own.
But I don't know a thing in this whole wide world
That's worse than being alone.

Hold my hand all the way, every hour every day
From here to the great unknown.
Take my hand, let me stand
Where no one stands alone.
I just love the tune and especially the lyrics. I love the vision of a place where no one stands alone.

You can hear versions of the song on YouTube from Alison Krauss and The Cox Family and the Peasall Sisters.

I've been singing and practicing this song so that I can introduce it to the guys out at prison on Monday nights.

All around the house and at work you can hear me singing to myself...

Take my hand, let me stand
Where no one stands alone...

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18 thoughts on “Where No One Stands Alone”

  1. An old Baptist standard. Both Cash and Elvis did versions if I'm not mistaken. But Allison, !!!!

  2. I hadn't heard the song before but upon a quick search I've found versions by Elvis, June Carter Cash, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, and Asleep at the wheel among others... Perhaps I should be ashamed of myself. Thanks Richard, it's a beautiful song.

  3. I have a 2 year old and I beg to differ - the cheese, apparently, stands alone. :)

  4. Elvis did this beautifully; I just listened to his version this morning in the way to work. I believe he sang it at his last concert (surprising his band because it wasn't on the list).

  5. Just spent the better part of an hour listening to various versions. Nibelwill got it righ---Allison does it best, Her version of Down by the River to Pray is my go to song when I need to recenter my life.

  6. An aside: Four part harmony was not around in the first century. Shouldn't this innovation rank up there with instruments of music as "adding to the" God ordained pattern of New Testament worship? (um, yes. I am just messin with ya).

  7. Man does this bring back some memories. The North Atlanta C of C where I went during high school had this song on our regular rotation, so to speak.
    I remember one time commenting to a friend as we headed to Sunday School "Man that is a hell of a song." I then discovered on of the adults right behind me, and became rather sheepish, to say the least. The adult smiled and replied "No, it is a song that defeats Hell."

  8. We need lyrics and poetry such as this. A great part of the arduous journey of faith is remembering to think past our feelings; and sometimes the feeling of being alone can entomb our very being. It is then that words give us the resurrection, they actually save our lives. Why should a miracle within be any less a miracle than one without, than one on display? And to think, it comes through simple words.

  9. In this case it was a reaction to C of C orthodoxy, to which I do not subscribe. Neither, I suspect, does Richard despite his stated preference for acapella Hence the "just messin" comment.

  10. I know exactly what you're saying. That's what I was alluding to. I've Been there. I call the CoC orthodoxy a 3x5 card theology: "Five steps of salvation on one side, and five acts of worship on the other".

  11. Otter Creek, one of the larger C of C's in Nashville, just started an alternative instrumental worship. USA Today took notice and ran an article about this move. From the inflamed reaction by traditionalists in the comments section you might think Otter Creek had taken up sacrificing virgins to the sun god.

  12. The soundtrack for "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" has been one of the biggest sellers of all time. Contains many great old songs and hymns. In fact that movie is based "loosely" on Homer's "Iliad and Odyssey." Interesting to read that novel (one of the oldest in history) and watch for the parallels in the movie. We still have some politicians in Mississippi who sound like the character Homer Stokes (a klansman running for governor) in the movie. Sorry, I didn't mean to break the thread.

  13. You have given me an idea for a sermon: "Where No One Stands Alone." That expression captures the ideal image of Christianity.

  14. A Hispanic man in our church community (Southwest Central Church of Christ in Houston), Lupe Ramirez, brought this to us many years ago and periodically leads us in singing this hymn. We've sung it with him during the declining illness and death of his precious wife whom he tenderly cared for and when others were suffering. For me he epitomizes singing in spirit and in truth, our traditional goal in a capella singing.
    Please let us know how it is received by your prison guys - what a gift for them.

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