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Unless the Lord the House Shall Build

Representative Text

1 Unless the Lord the house shall build,
the weary builders toil in vain;
unless the LORD the city shield,
the guards a useless watch maintain.

2 In vain you rise at morning break,
in vain your late-night vigils keep,
and draining days of work partake—
those whom God loves fall fast asleep.

3 Yes, children are a great reward,
a gift from God in very truth;
as quiver full of arrows stored
are children giv'n in days of youth.

4 How blest are those whose lives are cheered
by children's growth in strength and grace.
Within their house no foes are feared,
for God keeps watch within that place.

Source: Christian Worship (2021): Psalter #127D

Text Information

First Line: Unless the Lord the house shall build
Title: Unless the Lord the House Shall Build
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain




A pentatonic (five-pitch) folk tune from the southern United States, BOURBON fits well with the penitential text of Psalm 38. The tune calls for unison singing, with accompaniment providing a firmly articulated rhythm. Like many pentatonic tunes, when unaccompanied it can be sung in canon after eith…

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[Unless the Lord the house shall build]



The Cyber Hymnal #7033
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


Instances (1 - 7 of 7)

Christian Worship (2021) #127D

Text InfoTextAudio

Glory to God #46


The Cyber Hymnal #7033


The Presbyterian Hymnal #238

TextPage Scan

Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #365

TextPage Scan

Trinity Psalter Hymnal #127A

TextPage Scan

Trinity Psalter Hymnal #127B

Include 11 pre-1979 instances
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