Isaac Watts: Divine Songs for the Use of Children

(2859 words)

“What sweeter book to me belongs / Than Dr. Watts’ book of songs?” These lines, taken from an 1836 song book (A Course of Lessons 51), refer to Isaac Watts’ Divine Songs Attempted in Easy Language for the Use of Children, first published in 1715 (the amended title, Divine and Moral Songs, did not appear until 1794 (Pafford 44)). One of the most popular children’s texts ever written, Divine Songs went through twenty editions in Watts’ lifetime, with over six hundred known British and American editions published between 1715 and 1901 and an estimated eight million copies sold (Pafford 1-2). The first American edition was published in 1719, and elements of the text were reproduced in the New-…

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Wakely-Mulroney, Katherine. "Divine Songs for the Use of Children". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 January 2013
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]