"Lead, Kindly Light
" is a hymn
with words written in 1833 by John Henry Newman
and 4th verse
by Edward H. Bickersteth, Jr.
. The tune was written by John B. Dykes
As a young priest, John Newman became sick while in Italy and was unable to travel for almost three weeks. In his own words:
- Before starting from my inn, I sat down on my bed and began to sob bitterly. My servant, who had acted as my nurse, asked what ailed me. I could only answer, "I have a work to do in England." I was aching to get home, yet for want of a vessel I was kept at Palermo for three weeks. I began to visit the churches, and they calmed my impatience, though I did not attend any services. At last I got off in an orange boat, bound for Marseilles. We were becalmed for whole week in the Straits of Bonifacio, and it was there that I wrote the lines, Lead, Kindly Light, which have since become so well known.
Lead, Kindly Light was sung by a soloist on the RMS Titanic during a hymn-singing gathering led by Rev. Ernest C. Carter, shortly before the ocean liner struck an iceberg on April 141912.
The first verse is: