Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

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Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
"Come, Ye Thankful People, Come" is an English Christian harvest celebration hymn written by Henry Alford in 1844. The first verse is written as a celebration of the harvest, calling for people to thank God for the season's bounty. The last two verses are based on the Parable of the Tares and discuss the last harvest at the Second Coming of Jesus. Discover the complete lyrics of this hymn, the author's story, and music videos below!

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come Lyrics

1 Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God's own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.

2 All the world is God's own field,
fruit as praise to God we yield;
wheat and tares together sown
are to joy or sorrow grown;
first the blade and then the ear,
then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we
wholesome grain and pure may be.

3 For the Lord our God shall come,
and shall take the harvest home;
from the field shall in that day
all offenses purge away,
giving angels charge at last
in the fire the tares to cast;
but the fruitful ears to store
in the garner evermore.

4 Even so, Lord, quickly come,
bring thy final harvest home;
gather thou thy people in,
free from sorrow, free from sin,
there, forever purified,
in thy presence to abide;
come, with all thine angels, come,
raise the glorious harvest home.

United Methodist Hymnal, 1989

Songwriters Henry Alford Published by Public Domain

The Story Behind Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

Alford wrote "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come" in 1844 while he was rector of Aston Sandford in Buckinghamshire, England. It was first published in Hymns and Psalms in 1844 with seven verses under "After Harvest." "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come" was set to George J. Elvey's hymn tune St. George's, Windsor in 1858. 

In 1865, Alford altered the hymn, it was republished in his Poetical Works with only four verses. In 1861 there had been several unofficial revisions of the hymn, including one in Hymns Ancient and Modern, which led to Alford publishing a footnote in Poetical Works stating his objection to these revisions that had been made without his consensus. Despite this, Alford revised the hymn again in 1867 in Year of Praise.

Alford was a moderate who tried to keep good relations between non-conformists and the High Church Anglicans in the Church of England: "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come" is commonly found in evangelical hymn books, as is Alford's "Forward be our watchword" and "Ten thousand times ten thousand." The hymn later earned popularity in the United States and is used as part of Thanksgiving celebrations.

Bible Inspiration for This Hymn

Luke 10:2 - And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.

Galatians 6:9 - And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

John 4:35 - Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.

Proverbs 10:5 - He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.

2 Corinthians 9:10 - He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.


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