JUST A LITTLE TALK WITH JESUS written in 1932
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Cleavant Derricks (1910-1977) was the pastor of a small African-American church in Alabama. “Rev”, as everyone called him, wrote songs. And, while his church members loved to sing them, he didn’t think they would be of interest to anyone else.
The church needed new hymnals; the ones they had were ragged and torn, and some had disappeared, as hymnals sometimes seem to do. So “Rev” found the name and address of the hymnal publisher in Dallas, and asked about getting more hymnals. He didn’t have any money, but some of his church members encouraged him to take some of his songs with him when he went to pick up the hymnals… and he did.
The publisher wasn’t very excited about most of Cleavant’s songs, but there were two they really liked. When the publisher asked Cleavant what he wanted for those two songs, Cleavant told them he thought 50 hymnals would be fair. So, “Rev” went home with 50 new hymnals, and the publisher got the rights to this song.
Within 3 years, this song had become one of America’s most beloved southern gospel songs.
This song was one of my favorites growing up in Antioch Baptist Church in Rushing, AR. I fondly remember the 4-part harmonies we sang there… and Rodney Rushing singing the strong bass of this song.
Read this hymn, and – today – have a little talk with Jesus.
I once was lost in sin but Jesus took me in
and then a little light from heaven filled my soul.
It bathed my heart in love and wrote my name above,
and just a little talk with Jesus made me whole
Now let us have a little talk with Jesus… let us tell Him all about our troubles;
He will hear our faintest cry and He will answer by and by.
Now when you feel a little prayer wheel turning, and you know a little fire is burning,
you will find a little talk with Jesus makes it right.
Sometimes my path seems dreary without a ray of cheer
and then a cloud of doubt may hide the light of day;
the mists of sin may rise and hide the starry skies,
but just a little talk with Jesus clears the way. (Chorus)
I may have doubts and fears, my eyes be filled with tears,
but Jesus is a friend who watches day and night.
I go to Him in prayer, He knows my every care
and just a little talk with Jesus makes it right. (Chorus)