American Traditional

Just a Closer Walk with Thee

    Description by Robert Cummings

    Just a Closer Walk With Thee is a popular spiritual whose words and music come from anonymous sources. The melody is taken from a folk song, Closer Walk, which probably dates to the early nineteenth century and likely from the southern United States. The title and text of Just a Closer Walk With Thee are drawn from the Biblical passage from 2 Corinthians 5:7: "We walk by faith, not by sight." There are four verses to the song, though the refrain (second verse), which begins with the title words, is repeated twice, the first time after the third verse and once more after the fifth. The melody is sentimental and will appeal to those with a taste for folk-ish styles of gospel music. It comes in four phrases, the second and third starting higher than the last, the final one closing the melodic contour with a firm sense of resolution and triumph. The melody repeats throughout the song, much in the manner of those in other famous spirituals, such as He's Got the Whole World in His Hands and When the Saints Go Marching In. The text speaks of human weakness and asks Jesus for strength via "just a closer walk with thee."

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2014 ABC Classics 4811242
    2014 ABC Classics ABC 4811343
    2013 Pro Organo PO 7260
    2012 Altissimo 55992
    2011 Opening Day Recordings / Steinway & Sons 30008
    2011 Opening Day Recordings ODR 7416
    2011 Altissimo ALT 61032
    2006 Deja Vu 20
    2005 Castle Pulse PBXCD 567
    2004 Albany Music Distribution 656
    2004 BMG BVCF--1015
    2004 Bayer Records 150032
    2003 Nonesuch 79837
    2003 Altissimo 55752
    2002 Soli Deo Gloria 021
    2001 Summit Records 280
    2001 Musica Viva 1011
    2001 Bandleader 5166
    2000 Cascavelle 3006
    1998 CB Collection / Hal Leonard Corp. 57740
    1995 RCA Victor / RCA 68110
    1990 RCA 5628
    1989 CBS Records MK-45744
    1988 RCA Victor Red Seal RD85628
    1985 CBS Records 039515
    RCA 60979
    Omega Music Poland 3014
    Opening Day Recordings 9341
    Allan Spencer
    Opening Day Recordings 57730