Jesus Christ the Apple Tree (also known as Apple Tree) is a poem purportedly written by an unknown New Englander in the 18th century. It has been set to music by a number of composers, including Jeremiah Ingalls (1764–1838) and Elizabeth Poston (1905–1987).
The first known publication of "Jesus Christ the Apple Tree" was in 1784 in Divine Hymns, or Spiritual Songs: for the use of Religious Assemblies and Private Christians by Joshua Smith, a lay Baptist minister from New Hampshire. The song may be an allusion to the description of an apple tree in Song of Songs 2:3, and apple trees were commonly grown in early New England. The piece is performed by choirs around the world, especially during the Christmas season as a Christmas carol.
Original text of music
Jesus Christ the Apple Tree
- The tree of life my soul hath seen,
- Laden with fruit and always green:
- The trees of nature fruitless be
- Compared with Christ the apple tree.
- His beauty doth all things excel:
- By faith I know, but ne’er can tell,
- The glory which I now can see
- In Jesus Christ the apple tree.
- For happiness I long have sought,
- And pleasure dearly I have bought:
- I missed of all; but now I see
- 'Tis found in Christ the apple tree.
- I'm weary with my former toil,
- Here I will sit and rest a while:
- Under the shadow I will be,
- Of Jesus Christ the apple tree.
- This fruit doth make my soul to thrive,
- It keeps my dying faith alive:
- Which makes my soul in haste to be
- With Jesus Christ the apple tree.
Jesus Christ the Apple Tree words at San Francisco Bach Choir website