I Need thee Every Hour
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"I Need Thee Every Hour" was first published in 1872. The text was first written by Annie S. Hawkes (1835-1918), with additional lyrics and music being composed by Robert Lowry (1826-1899). Lowry was a Baptist Minister in Brooklyn New York and had already successfully written several popular hymns prior to "I Need Thee Every Hour". Hawkes was a member of his congregation. Recognizing that Hawkes had talent as a poet, Lowry challenged her that if she wrote the words, he would write the music. Hawkes recalled that "One day as a young wife and mother of 37 years of age, I was busy with my regular household tasks. Suddenly, I became so filled with the sense of nearness to the Master that, wondering how one could live without Him, either in joy or pain, these words, 'I Need Thee Every Hour,' were ushered into my mind, the thought at once taking full possession of me." Hawkes shortly after wrote the four verses of the hymn, with Lowry adding the chorus and music. (1, 2) The original hymn words and music in SATB format is available here.