His Eye is on the Sparrow

A Yellow Headed Blackbird.

Northern Flicker

Tree Swallow

Sparrow in flight?

His Eye is On the Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged,
Why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely,
And long for Heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion?
My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Refrain

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Let not your heart be troubled,
His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness,
I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth,
But one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Refrain

Whenever I am tempted,
Whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing,
When hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him,
From care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Refrain

Words: Civilla D. Martin, 1905.

Early in the spring of 1905, my hus­band and I were so­journ­ing in El­mi­ra, New York. We con­tract­ed a deep friend­ship for a cou­ple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doo­lit­tle—true saints of God.

Mrs. Doo­lit­tle had been bed­rid­den for nigh twen­ty years. Her hus­band was an in­cur­a­ble crip­ple who had to pro­pel him­self to and from his bus­i­ness in a wheel chair.

Despite their af­flic­tions, they lived hap­py Chris­tian lives, bring­ing ins­pir­a­tion and com­fort to all who knew them.

One day while we were visit­ing with the Doo­lit­tles, my hus­band com­ment­ed on their bright hope­ful­ness and asked them for the sec­ret of it.

Mrs. Doo­lit­tle’s reply was sim­ple: His eye is on the spar­row, and I know He watch­es me.

The beau­ty of this sim­ple ex­pres­sion of bound­less faith gripped the hearts and fired the im­ag­in­a­tion of Dr. Mart­in and me. The hymn His Eye Is on the Spar­row was the out­come of that ex­per­i­ence.

Civilla Mar­tin


The next day Mar­tin mailed the po­em to Ga­bri­el, who wrote the mu­sic.

Singer Eth­el Wa­ters (1893–1977) so loved this song that she used its name as the ti­tle for her au­to­bi­o­gra­phy, and it ap­pears on her tomb­stone.

Matthew 6:25-27 (ESV)

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?