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Balm in Gilead - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

Balm in Gilead is an African-American spiritual.  Gilead, on the shore of the River Jordan, was known in biblical times for its balm - an ointment that heals and soothes.  There are several references to the phrase 'balm in Gilead' in the bible.  For example, the prophet Jermimiah asks, "Is there no balm in Gilead?' when the ungodly Israelites refuse to repent and return to God.  In the words of the hymn, Jesus is presented as the balm that will heal humanity of its sins.  This version of 'Balm in Gilead' is played with chords in the key of C.  Capo your guitar and move up and down the fretboard to find the key that works for your singing voice.

Chords

Chorus

G7             C
There is a balm in Gilead

                       F        C     G     G7
To make the wounded whole;

                  C
There is a balm in Gilead

F
   C            G7          C
To heal the sin-sick soul.


       
Verse

          Am                   Dm  Em

Sometimes I feel discouraged

        F                               G     G7
And think my work's in vain,

        Am                  F
But then the holy spirit

     G             E7      Am   F
Revives my soul again.

Lyrics

There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.

Sometimes I feel discouraged
And think my work's in vain,
But then the holy spirit
Revives my soul again.

There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.

Don't ever feel discouraged
For Jesus is your friend,
And if you lack for knowledge
He'll never refuse to lend

There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.

 

Extra Verse

If you can pray like Peter,
If you can preach like Paul,
Go home and tell your loved ones,
"He died to save us all."

 

Other American Folk Songs
Other Traditional Folk Songs