And Can It Be–A New Version

Sometimes I am a little slow picking up on new things, but I just recently stumbled upon a new version of my favorite Charles Wesley hymn, And Can It Be.

This is the hymn Charles wrote to describe his experience of God’s grace in an unmistakable way in his life.  Some have called it his conversion experience, and some have called it his version of his brother John’s Aldersgate experience (assurance of salvation).  Either way, it was a powerful awareness of the love and grace of God in his life.

I had never heard this hymn before I went to Asbury Seminary.  There we sang it so often some referred to it as Asbury’s “fight song.”  I have to say, there was always something electric in the air when the pipe organ would drop out of the fourth verse and we sang it a capella, and then had the crescendo for the fifth verse.

Here is the original version, thanks to the folks at  It has all five verses and a piano accompaniment, so if you have never heard the hymn, you know how it goes (and what the lyrics are).

Below is the new version, which is wonderful.  Enjoy!


6 thoughts on “And Can It Be–A New Version

  1. Thanks, Steve, for sharing the new version. I’d not heard it before and found it enjoyable. I find much of contemporary hymn renditions a clever use of harmony and cadence, however often they are un-singable by the musically uninitiated, though I’m willing to admit that statement may declare my age. Congregational singing seems to have lost much of its luster and depth of meaning having been replaced by an entertainment-oriented musical performance by stage singers. We still have a lot to learn from the Welsh who yet today, enjoy singing in full voice, songs of praise that deeply stir the heart. Yes, the stirring sounds of Estes Chapel and organ, with And Can It Be, still rattle the rafters, as they did once again at the opening chapel last Tuesday. It was my privilege to sneak in on that one. A packed house. Stellar!


    • So glad to hear about Estes!

      I think a lot of the shift in music today is due to people “singing along” at concerts now. Major music events no longer are just for show, but now are about participating with the performer in singing the songs.


  2. Hi Steve,

    This is one of my favorite hymns, and I do like the original, too. When I can find my favorite version on YouTube I’ll post a link here. An interesting thing in the video above, many times when they show the cellist playing, the video has been inverted so it looks like she’s playing backwards. I wonder if this was an oversight or done on purpose?


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