Amen, Amen

Representative Text

Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen.
Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen.

1 See the baby,
lyin' in the manger
on Christmas mornin'. [Refrain]

2 See Him at the temple,
talkin' to the elders;
how they marveled at his wisdom,

3 See Him at the Jordan
where John was baptizin'
and savin' all sinners. [Refrain]

4 See Him at the seaside,
talkin' to the fishermen
and makin' them disciples. [Refrain]

5 Marchin' in Jerusalem,
over palm branches,
in pomp and splendor. [Refrain]

6 See Him in the garden,
prayin' to His Father,
in deepest sorrow.

7 Led before Pilate,
then they crucified Him,
but He rose on Easter. [Refrain]

8 Hallelujah!
He died to save us
and He lives for ever. [Refrain]

Source: One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism: an African American ecumenical hymnal #294

Author (verses): Jester Hairston

(no biographical information available about Jester Hairston.) Go to person page >

Author (refrain): B.H. Hogan

Rev. Broadus Henry Hogan Go to person page >

Author (refrain): Laura B. Davis

Laura Belle Davis. Born 20 Oct. 1909 in Indianapolis, daughter of William Scott Davis and Clara Montague. Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: See the little baby
Title: Amen, Amen
Author (verses): Jester Hairston
Author (refrain): B.H. Hogan
Author (refrain): Laura B. Davis
Meter: Irregular
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Amen, Amen
Notes: Ostinato refrain
Copyright: Refrain ©1935 Homer A. Rodeheaver, renewed 1963, sold to Word Music in 1969 [expired in 2011]. Melody and Lyrics by Hairston ©1957 Walter Schumann Co., acquired in 1965 by Bourne Music Co., renewed in 1985.


Scripture References:
st. 1 = Luke 2:6-7
st. 2 = Luke 2:46-47
st. 3 = Mark 3:7-12, Mark 6:53-56
st. 4 = Matt. 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42, Luke 22:39-46
st. 5 = Matt. 27:32-35, Matt. 28:1, Mark 15:21-26, Mark 16:1-7, Luke 23:26-34, Luke 24:1-8, John 19:16-18, John 20:1-2

A traditional African American spiritual, "Amen" arose from oral tradition; thus different hymnals contain variations in the text. Donald Hustad believes "Amen" probably comes from the twentieth century. With a choral arrangement by long-time promoter of spirituals Jester Hairston, this hymn was the theme song for the film Lilies of the Field (1963) starring Sidney Poitier. The text gives glimpses into Jesus' life: his birth (st. 1); his wisdom as a twelve-year-old, which astounded the temple rulers (st. 2); his preaching and healing ministry (st. 3); his suffering in Gethsemane (st. 4); and his crucifixion and victorious resurrection (st. 5). All text is framed by the repeated "Amen" responses; as we sing we reaffirm that “truly, truly, this is the gospel!”

Liturgical Use:
Christmas Day; Epiphany; Lent; Easter; anytime with children; whenever you need a simple attractive synopsis of Christ's life set to essentially two-part music.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988


AMEN (Spiritual)

The traditional call-and-response structure calls for a soloist on the text, with everyone singing the ostinato pattern of "Amens," either in unison or harmony. The soloist may apply rhythmic and melodic freedom to the lines. If possible, sing unaccompanied, or use piano, guitars, and/or string bass…

Go to tune page >



Worship and Rejoice #249


Instances (1 - 18 of 18)

African American Heritage Hymnal #649

TextPage Scan

African Methodist Episcopal Church Hymnal #172

Bible Songs on Timeless Themes #29


Lift Every Voice and Sing II #233


One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism #294

Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #207

Text InfoTune InfoTextAudio

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #365


Sing With Me #88

Songs of Faith and Praise #966

Page Scan

The Covenant Hymnal #208


The Faith We Sing #2072

The New Century Hymnal #161

TextPage Scan

The Presbyterian Hymnal #299


Total Praise #636


With Heart and Voice #87

TextScoreAudioPage Scan

Worship and Rejoice #249


Worship in Song #101

찬송과 예배 = Chansong gwa yebae = Come, Let Us Worship #173

Include 5 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us