child of a king


I made a new mp3 this morning of my Grandfather telling a story and singing a song (link). This seems to be a set piece among ministers in the Church of God denomination.

I remember hearing the minister, Herb Thompson, perform this much the same way.

The racism in this song is a bit disturbing to me. Hearing my Grandfather talk about “darkys,” “Negroes,” and the “colored maid” and “colored folks” in the town is not pleasant to me. But I do think it’s good to hear this little story from the past told and sung by him.

child of a king story

I couldn’t find any references to this hymn in most of my books. However, in Ira Sankey’s book, My Life and the Story of the Gospel Hymns, it is mentioned.

my life and the story of the gospel hymns

This is a story I have found in several other places about how Mr. Peter P. Bihorn sang this song to “cowboys in the West” in 1883. Here’s a link to much the same story as in Sankey. Another online citation says this hymn was written in 1877.

This book is one of several I have inherited from Benjamin. This is the flyleaf.

this book is the property of Benjamin A Jenkins

They are treasured possessions.

I note that this song is in the denominational hymnals of the Church of God and that the tune is a bit straighter.

child of a king



Pop Ben seems to have the variant in his ear, varying the initial melody and the second phrase.

I wonder about this being sung in a denomination that had a large black constituency (although the integrated congregations seems to have been a rarity). I’m going to continue to try to find out more about this little set piece. So far, googling hasn’t worked for me.

On another note, I spent three hours yesterday working Mr. Demitrius White, the new Holland High School band director, and his students. It was loads of fun.



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