Facts About "Alas, And Did My Savior Bleed"
"Alas, And Did My Savior Bleed" was written by Isaac Watts (17 July 1674 – 25 November 1748) also known as the "Godfather of English Hymnody." He has written around 750 hymns that were translated into different languages and are still popular and used to this day. He was the son of a schoolmaster whose name is also Isaac Watts. He had a remarkable smartness when he was young. He was four when he started speaking Latin and seven when he learned to write proper verses. He studied Latin, Greek, and Hebrew at King Edward VI School, Southampton. He grew up as a non-conformist. He became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London in 1698 and he became a pastor in 1702, he was 28 years old by that time. He visited the residence of Sir Thomas Abney in 1712 and eventually stayed there for the rest of his life as per Sir Abney's request.
The composer of the hymn, Hugh Wilson, was born in 1766 and died in 1824. He's excellent in mathematics and music and took a part-time job as a teacher in Scotland. In 1800, he worked in a cotton mill in Pollokshaws and later became a draftsman when he moved to Duntocher. His past time was making sundials and composing hymn tunes. He founded the first Sunday school in Duntocher and became a manager and precentor in the local church. It was said that he gave life to the Book of Psalms by composing tunes of it, but he gave an order to destroy all his work before his last breath. However, two of his manuscripts survived until today.
Watts based the "Alas, And Did My Savior Bleed" from the scripture. The second stanza was from Mark 15:34, and the third stanza was from Mark 15:33. The hymn was first published in 1707 in the first edition of his book, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs. The original heading was "Godly sorrow arising from the suffering of Christ." Watts portrayed how Jesus died for the sins of his creatures on the third stanza, and it was followed by expressing immense gratitude on the fourth stanza. The hymn became popular in Great Britain but is more widely used in America.