Nearer, My God, to Thee” is a 19th century Christian hymn by Sarah Flower Adams, based loosely on Genesis 28:11–19, 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…”
It is most famous as the alleged last song the band on RMS Titanic played before the ship sank.
The lyrics to the hymn are as follows:
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me;
Still all my song shall be nearer, my God, to Thee,
Chorus: Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness be over me, my rest a stone;
Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee,
Here is Mahalia Jackson singing the great hymn.