When He Cometh is an old-time gospel hymn. Very sweet, and very simple, this is one your piano students can learn from!
Alison Krauss and the Cox Family singing "Jewels," the other name of this song:
Like "Farther On," this music is another old-time gospel hymn I first heard from the Zahasky family of the Alaska String Band. There is no online video of them singing it that I could find, but their rendition, a combination of voices and stringed instruments, is sweet, heart-felt, warm, and very polished - my favorite. Here is my adaptation of their version:
A word about the piano arrangement: The arrangement above is - basically - how I play When He Cometh when I accompany a singer (or myself, singing for fun). If you are baffled by the G chord with C in the bass in measures 4 and 8, and you find you don't like it, just use a G broken chord instead.
I like using a "pedal point" (unchanging bass note under changing chords) sometimes, because it either builds excitement or musical tension, or makes the change to regular bass notes, when it finally comes, feel so RIGHT - like a fulfillment.
Now here is "Jewels" with guitar tabs:
Simple for guitar...
Very simple chords - I, IV, & V - make this an easy song for beginning guitarists. Either "baby" chords using 3 strings in the key of C (to avoid the difficult and painful F chord), or if your students already play big chords, choose the key of D.
Playing both melody and chords together will require some careful RH (right hand) fingering. With my piano students, I have used this lovely hymn to encourage chord accompanying (the lead sheet approach) and then when that is pretty well in hand in the key of C, transpose it up to the key of D.
For vocalists, an easy harmony is possible. This would be primarily a 3rd apart, which sounds particularly sweet when it waits until the chorus to join in.
Another version of Jewels can be found over at MusicFolkPlayHymns.com, where a verse from the Old Testament of the Bible is transcribed onto the sheetmusic:
Here is the background to the lyrics of When He Cometh, from the website ScriptureAndMusic.com:
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