Dark Corner’s Ninety and Nine spiritual ballad

Published 4:59 pm Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dark Corner folks readily identify with The Ninety and Nine spiritual ballad.

The deeply held worth of the individual in the eyes of its creator, and the value of unselfish giving of one’s life, if necessary, to protect or save another individual runs deeply through the veins of most Dark Corner folks.

They are values first brought to this mountainous area by Scots-Irish Presbyterian and borderline England Calvinist Baptist and Methodist settlers.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Just as these traditional values are no longer held in high esteem by much of the modern world, they are beginning to wane here in the Dark Corner as well.

But, for more than 140 years, the lyrics and melody of The Ninety and Nine have resonated on our minds and hearts.

The Ninety and Nine

There were ninety and nine that safely lay

In the shelter of the fold.                                                                     But one was out on the hills away,                                                     Far off from the gates of gold.                                                          Away on the mountains wild and bare;

Away from the tender Shepherd’s care;

Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.

“Lord, Thou hast here Thy ninety and nine;

Are they not enough for Thee?”

But the Shepherd made answer: “This of mine                                  Has wandered away from Me;

And although the road be rough and steep,

I go to the desert to find My sheep,

I go to the desert to find My sheep.”

“Lord, whence are those blood drops all the way

That mark out the mountain’s track?”

“They were shed for one who had gone astray

Ere the Shepherd could bring him back.”

“Lord, whence are Thy hands so rent and torn?”

“They are pierced tonight by many a thorn;

They are pierced tonight by many a thorn.”

And all through the mountains, thunder riv’n

And up from the rocky steep,

There arose a glad cry to the gate of Heav’n,

“Rejoice! I have found My sheep!”

And the angels echoed around the throne,

“Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!

Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!”