Arthur Sullivan (of the famed Gilbert and Sullivan) composed the music for The Lost Chord as he sat at his brother Fred's beside, during his last days. The words were written by Adelaide A. Proctor. Known for its grandeur and eloquence, The Lost Chord is often represented by the young woman playing the the pipe organ with a choir of angels accompanying her.
Seated one day at the organ, I was weary and ill at ease, And my fingers wandered idly Over the noisy keys; I know not what I was playing, Or what I was dreaming then, But I struck one chord of music, Like the sound of a great Amen, Like the sound of a great Amen.
It flooded the crimson twilight, Like the close of an angel’s psalm, And it lay on my fevered spirit, With a touch of infinite calm, It quieted pain and sorrow, Like love overcoming strife, It seemed the harmonious echo From our discordant life, It linked all the perplexed meanings Into one perfect peace, And trembled away into silence, As if it were loath to cease; I have sought but I seek it vainly, That one lost chord divine, Which came from the soul of the organ, And entered into mine.
It may be that death’s bright angel Will speak in that chord again; It may be that only in Heav’n I shall hear that great Amen. It may be that death’s bright angel Will speak in that chord again; It may be that only in Heav’n I shall hear that great Amen