Ville du Havre (It Is Well With My Soul)
This is the most recent recording on the website, it was a bit of an impulse recording session this weekend after reading the lyrics to the song in a book. Ville du Havre is an old hymn, apparently quite well known in Christian circles, but the fascinating thing about the song is the story behind the words. It was written by Horatio Spafford in 1873 after he had suffered some horrendous personal tragedies. Firstly his four year old son died and shortly afterwards he was ruined financially by the great Chicago fire. The following year he was due to travel to Europe with his family but he was delayed and sent them on ahead. Their ship, the Ville du Havre, collided with another ship and sank, killing all four of his daughters. Only his wife survived. Spafford wrote the song on the way to meet his grieving wife as he passed near where his daughters had died.
I think the lyrics show an incredible strength of character and faith from Horatio Spafford. Whether you’re a religious person or not, it’s a beautiful and haunting song.
Having read the lyrics without knowing the tune I could hear a melody in my head which I felt fit the mood of the song. It wasn’t until afterwards that I discovered it’s a very famous hymn already, so I apologise if I cause any offence in my take on it.
You can listen to the song on the player at the top of the page or download it by clicking the link below.