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He's Got the Whole World in His Hands

Representative Text

1 He's got the whole world in his hands.
He's got the whole world in his hands.
He's got the whole world in his hands.
He's got the whole world in his hands.

2 He's got the wind and the rain in his hands.

(Sing three times)

He's got the whole world in his hands.

3 He's got the little tiny baby in his hands. . . .
He's got the whole world in his hands.

4 He's got you and me, brother, in his hands. . . .
He's got the whole world in his hands.

5 He's got you and me, sister, in his hands. . . .
He's got the whole world in his hands.

6 He's got everybody here in his hands. . . .
He's got the whole world in his hands.


Scripture References:
all st. = Ps. 47; 93-99

This anonymous spiritual rose out of the oral tradition of African Americans and has become one of the most widely known and loved spirituals, sung by young and old everywhere. Like other songs arising out of an oral tradition, it has many variations in both text and tune. Creating new stanzas would also be consistent with the tradition.

The text confesses the same them of the Lord’s cosmic rule that is proclaimed in the kingship psalms such as Psalm 47 and 93-99: “The Lord reigns!” The stanzas give examples of aspects of the “whole world”–nature, human creatures, and in fact, everything and everybody.

Liturgical Use:
Various occasions of worship: services that focus on creation, God’s rule and providence, family life (st. 3-5), and communion of the saints (st. 6); as a hymn of assurance.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



WHOLE WORLD is characterized by one recurring melodic and rhythmic motif. The tune is intended for unison singing and possibly some solo singing (for example, on st. 4-5), with light accompaniment on guitar or piano. Try singing some stanzas unaccompanied, clapping on beats two and four. --Psalter H…

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Instances (1 - 37 of 37)

African American Heritage Hymnal #150


Ancient and Modern #656

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #306


Baptist Hymnal 1991 #346

Christian Science Hymnal #492

Church Family Worship #189


Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #819

Complete Mission Praise #225

Hymns and Psalms #25


Hymns for a Pilgrim People #51

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Hymns of Promise #26

Hymns of Truth & Light #97


Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #411


Lift Every Voice and Sing II #217


Lift Up Your Hearts #26

Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #328

Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudioPage Scan

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #457

Sing 'N' Praise Hymnal Vol. 2 #87

Sing and Rejoice! #34

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Sing Joyfully #43

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Sing With Me #26

Singing the Faith #536


Small Church Music #889

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Songs for Life #198


Songs of Zion #85

The Book of Hymns (A fresh anthology of favourite hymns) #9


The Celebration Hymnal #586

The Christian Life Hymnal #409

The Covenant Hymnal #682


The Cyber Hymnal #2336


The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #344


The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #118

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The Worshiping Church #518


Total Praise #143

TextScoreAudioPage Scan

With Heart and Voice #123


Worship and Rejoice #80

찬송과 예배 = Chansong gwa yebae = Come, Let Us Worship #70

Include 23 pre-1979 instances
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