Chorus: "This old world is full of sorrow, Full of sickness, weak and sore, If you love your neighbor truly, Love will come to you the more." Floating verses from other hymns: "We're all children of one father." "I will arise and go to Jesus." etc.
This Old World Complete text(s) *** A *** As sung by the Golden Ring singers and printed by Charles W. Darling in The New American Songster, p. 259. This old world is full of sorrow, Full of sickness, weak and sore. If you love your neighbour truly, Love will come to you the more. We're all children of one Father, We're all brothers and sisters too. If you cherish one another Love and pity will come to you. This old world is full of sorrow, Full of sickness, weak and sore. If you love your neighbour truly, Love will come to you the more. *** B *** Additional verses: I (RBW) learned this somewhere with the verse I will arise and go to Jesus, He will embrace me in his arms. In the arms of our dear Savior, Oh, there are ten thousand charms. Which brings us to other verses associated with that song: Come, thou font of every blessing, Move my heart to sing thy praise. Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise. Here I'll raise my songs in praises. Hither by thy grace I'm bound. And I hope by thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home. *** C *** The lyrics of "Mercy O Thou Son of David" appear in the Original Sacred Harp (1971, Denson revisions, p. 56, to the tune Villulia) as follows: Mercy O thou son of David, Thus poor blind Bartimeous pray'd. Other by thy grace are saved, Now to me afford thine aid. Money was not what he wanted, Though by begging used to live; But he asked and Jesus granted, Alms which none but he could give. "Lord, remove this grievous blindness, Let mine eyes behold the day; Straight he saw and won by kindness, Follow'd Jesus in the way. On page 52, under the title "Charlestown," we find the first verse above (except that it is simply "blind Bartimeus" rather than "poor blind Bartimeus") and this second verse: Many for his crying chid him, But he called the louder still, Till the gracious Savior bid him, "Come and ask me what you will." George Pullen Jackson, White Spirituals in the Southern Uplands, p. 135, gives as his #13 in the list of 80 most popular tunes the song "Restoration," with two sets of words: 1 2 Mercy, o thou Son of David, Jordan's stream shall ne'er oe'rflow me Thus blind Bartimeus pray'd. while my Savior's by my side.
The background to this song is confusing. The Golden Ring lists it as a set of words for "Mercy O Thou Son of David" (listed as by John Newton). But the Sacred Harp lists three tunes for those lyrics (which it also credits to John Newton): "Charlestown," "Villulia," and "Friendship."
To make matters worse, while all of those tunes fit "This Old World," none appear (at least in my copy of the Sacred Harp) seem to exactly match it.
If this song is anything, it's a placeholder for a variety of texts. There is almost a continuous gradation from this to songs of the "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" group. - RBW