Songs for Sunday: Lonely Voices

The first time I heard this song, I was probably about 12 years old, and visiting my grandparent’s church in Bixby Oklahoma. It was sung by the youth minister’s wife. Her name was Nina, and she had the sweetest voice. I thought the lyrics and melody were both hauntingly beautiful.

Here is a YouTube video from Bethel Church.

Lonely voices crying in the city,
Lonely voices sounding like a child.
Lonely voices come from busy people,
Too disturbed to stop a little while.
Lonely voices fill my dreams,
Lonely voices haunt my memory.

Lonely faces looking for the sunrise,
Just to find another busy day.
Lonely faces all around the city,
Men afraid, but too ashamed to pray.
Lonely faces do I see,
Lonely faces haunt my memory.

Lonely eyes, I see them in the subway,
Burdened by the worries of the day;
Men at leisure, but they’re so unhappy,
Tired of foolish roles they try to play.
Lonely people do I see,
Lonely people haunt my memory.

Abundant life He came to truly give man,
But so few His gift of grace receive.
Lonely people live in every city,
Men who face a dark and lonely grave.
Lonely faces do I see,
Lonely voices calling out to me.

The song was written in 1967 by Billie Hanks Jr, who was part of the Billy Graham crusades. You can find out what he is doing now here. George Beverly Shea, who was also a familiar face at the crusades, recorded the song on his album If That Isn’t Love

I still love the melody, but lyrics bother me a little. While the song points out the problem of the lonely people who obviously need to know the Lord, the writer appears to be only an observer, and fails to do anything about the need. Were the lonely voices haunting this person’s memory because they didn’t tell those people about the Lord, when they should have?

How many of us are like that? How often do we sadly shake our heads, and say that person “needs the Lord”, but never tell them about Jesus? Guilty as charged. We….I…have to do better. Jesus told us to tell others about Him. We need to answer the lonely voices with the news of the Savior!

See you in church!