I Belong to the King

This week on Family Radio I heard a song I had never heard before, & its lyrics really riveted my attention for some strange reason:

I belong to the King, I’m a child of His love,
I shall dwell in His palace so fair;
For He tells of its bliss in yon heaven above,
And His children in splendor [alt. “its splendors”] shall share.

Chorus:
I belong to the King, I’m a child of His love,
And he never forsaketh His own;
He will call me some day to His palace above,
I shall dwell by His glorified throne.

I belong to the King, and He loves me, I know,
For His mercy and kindness, so free,
Are unceasingly mine wheresoever I go,
And my Refuge unfailing is He.

Chorus

I belong to the King, and His promise is sure,
That we all shall be gathered at last
In His kingdom above, by life’s waters so pure,
When this life with its trials is past.

Chorus

Some sources say the song is also known as “1John 3:1”.

A lady named Ida Lillard Reed/Smith (1865-1951) penned the lyrics in 1896, & Joseph Lincoln Hall (1866-1930) composed the original tune (photos available here). Both were Methodists. (Note that some publications attribute the musical arrangement to Maurice A. Clifton [a pseudonym used by Hall] or Shelly Garlock Hamilton.)

Ida was born near Moatsville, West Virginia & died in Arden not too far away; Hall was an honors graduate from the University of Pennsylvania. A cute little coincidence since I lived in Pennsylvania while attending university in West Virginia.

The song of the week should be quite obvious. I was surprised that not a single CD on Amazon contains the song, but it’s just as well since I found 2 little MIDI files online that contain the basic melody of a verse & chorus:

53-second version; 1.4kb

46-second version; 3.1kb

G.M. Grena

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3 Responses to “I Belong to the King”

  1. G.M. Grena Says:

    Be sure to read the response from a relative of the hymn’s composer over at LMLK Blogspot.

  2. rcottrill Says:

    Thanks for posting “I’m a Child of the King.” Today is the 59th anniversary of the death of Ida Lilliard Reed. (Smith was a pen name. She never married.) You are correct in saying that Maurice Clifton was a pen name for J. Lincoln Hall. But Shelly Hamilton is a modern-day composer and arranger, and she had nothing to do with creating the original hymn.

    If you’d like to learn a bit about Ida Reed, check out my daily blog on hymns (Wordwide Hymns) for today.

    And one quick suggestion. I encourage you to link to the original Cyber Hymnal at http://www.hymntime.com/tch/

    The creator of the site is a friend of mine, and I’ve been contributing to it for the past 14 years. Apparently, someone came along and simply took all of his material (without permission) and started another site. My friend was forced to change his URL, but was able to retain the Cyber Hymnal name. (You can tell the difference in the sites immediately, as there’s no advertising on the original.)

  3. G.M. Grena Says:

    Thanks, Robert! Here’s a direct link to the song on HymnTime.

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