Old Rugged Cross (The)

This is an online fiddle lesson for the hymn "The Old Rugged Cross."

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Genre: Gospel
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
Keys of D and G

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Video #1: Here is a video of me playing the hymn "The Old Rugged Cross."

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"The Old Rugged Cross" is a popular hymn written in 1912 by evangelist and song-leader George Bennard (1873–1958).

George Bennard was a native of Youngstown, Ohio, but was reared in Iowa. After his conversion in a Salvation Army meeting, he and his wife became brigade leaders before leaving the organization for the Methodist Church. As a Methodist evangelist, Bennard wrote the first verse of "The Old Rugged Cross" in Albion, Michigan, in the fall of 1912 as a response to ridicule that he had received at a revival meeting. Bennard traveled with Ed E. Mieras from Chicago to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin where they held evangelistic meetings at the Friends Church from December 29, 1912 to January 12, 1913. During the meetings Rev. George Bennard finished "The Old Rugged Cross" and on the last night of the meeting Bennard and Mieras performed it as a duet before a full house with Pearl Torstensen Berg, organist for the meeting, as accompanist. Bennard retired to Reed City, Michigan, and the town maintains a museum dedicated to his life and ministry. A memorial has also been created in Youngstown at Lake Park Cemetery. A plaque commemorating the first performance of the song stands in front of the Friend's Church in Sturgeon Bay, WI.

source: wikipedia

The Old Rugged Cross

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
the emblem of suffering and shame;
and I love that old cross where the dearest and best
for a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
and exchange it some day for a crown.

O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
has a wondrous attraction for me;
for the dear Lamb of God left his glory above
to bear it to dark Calvary. 

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
a wondrous beauty I see,
for 'twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
to pardon and sanctify me.

To that old rugged cross I will ever be true,
its shame and reproach gladly bear;
then he'll call me some day to my home far away,
where his glory forever I'll share.

Online Fiddle Lessons Forums The Old Rugged Cross

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #65874

    Nice, John thanks. My Mom loved that song she passed away yesterday morning. Thanks for putting this on.


    Gosh, very sorry to hear that Joe…this is a timely lesson,isn’t it?  Prayers going out your way for you and your family.  Sorry to hear it.

    Steve SraderSteve Srader

    Thanks John I was wonting this one !


    Blessings Joe….losing your mom is tough at any age.  And yes, what a timely and special lesson.


    John (BGD)John (BGD)

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, Joe.

    Great ScottGreat Scott

    Hi Joe. My sincere condolences on the loss of your mother.  Very sad news for me to hear.


    thanks everyone, She was 87 an had a long good life. I will miss her. She was witnessing to people telling them about Jesus in the hospital up until the end.

    Steve SraderSteve Srader

    Hey Joe sincerely sad , your mom has passed , I am dreading that day , that will come someday , My mom is 89 and will turn 90 the 27th of November this year , I have the good fortune to be the one caring for her this year , I am cooking cleaning any listening to her wonts and needs and learning things from her stories of past events , She seems to be a never ending teacher of songs , tunes , and interesting story of family events , Once a long time ago I told my mom when I was about 15 that She could not punish Me cause no way could she catch Me , She just smiled and said that’s alright Son , But You have to come home sometime , smiled turned and went back into the house ! So what could I do, I surrender to her knowing I lost that rebellion ! Ha !


    Thats good Steve. Enjoy the moments you have with her. We are having her funeral this morning and its raining right now. Hopefully it will quit at funeral time. Her and my dads 70th wedding anniversary would have been today.

    John (BGD)John (BGD)

    Joe that is a beautiful testimony. I know the funeral was heartwarming despite the weather!


    Thanks for the lesson John, it is my favorite song of all time.  I have played

    it many times on different instruments.  Sorry to hear about your mom, Joe, but you haven’t lost her when you know where she is.



    This was my mother’s favorite song as well.  I love it and think of her every time I hear it. Sorry for your loss Joe.  It was very losing my mother but  such a testimony that she was witnessing to the end.  It is such a comfort to know we will see them again cause we KNOW where they are and who they are with.


    John (BGD)John (BGD)

    Thank you fatbob and KJ. It is a very special song!

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