Birthday of Harlow-born composer of “Titanic” hymn remembered

Entertainment / Mon 19th Apr 2021 at 03:27pm

COMPOSER and singer, Eliza Flower was born in Harlow on April 19th, 1803.

Her most famous work is

The singer and composer is best known for writing the music for “Nearer, My God, to Thee”.

The hymn is well known, among other uses, as the alleged last song the band on RMS Titanic played before the ship sank.

Her book “Fourteen Musical Illustrations of the Waverley Novels” was published in 1831. Her most important work was “Hymns and Anthems: The Words Chiefly from the Holy Scripture and the Writings of the Poets”. She died of consumption at the age of forty-three and was buried with her father in the grounds of the Harlow Baptist Church in Old Harlow.

Her birthday has been marked by electric voice theatre who have recorded a version of Pray Thee For Our Country”

For more details of their work, go to

“Nearer, My God, to Thee” is a 19th-century Christian hymn by Sarah Flower Adams, which retells the story of Jacob’s dream. Genesis 28:11–12 can be translated as follows: “So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it…”

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