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My Heavenly Father Watches Over Me

“…our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ know us, love us, and are watching over us. Of that we can be certain.”

Russell M. Nelson

About the Song

Words by William C. Martin (1864-1914), adapted
Music by Sally DeFord

Early in 2020 I received a request for an arrangement of this song. I think I failed.

The words caught me somehow. For some reason, I set aside the other things I was working on and worked on this one.

The only musical setting I could find was by Charles Gabriel, which sounded hopeful since he wrote the music for “I Stand All Amazed.”  Alas, this one sounded a bit dated for my liking, and sooooooo–and this is where I failed–I did my own. Which probably doesn’t count as an arrangement of the song.

In February, shortly after I put this together, my dad died. I was grateful to have it to share with my mother (AKA my Fan Club President… everybody needs one of those!), and I thought I knew why I spent time on it. My Heavenly Father really was watching over me.

And then a pandemic hit us all. And boy do we need to know that our Heavenly Father really is watching over us now. The outcomes may not be what we expect, but He knows us, He loves us, and He will do exactly what is best for each one of us.

The solo is available in three keys: low-ish, medium, and high-ish. This one worked fairly well for these keys (though you won’t care for the low-ish one if you don’t like E major) but moving it further in either direction would definitely require some re-writing.

The recording by James Loynes is the medium-voice solo.

Since I’m posting this during a time of social distancing (hang in there, friends!) when choirs aren’t really a thing, this is solo only. I hope we’re in need of a choral setting someday soon.

Spotify, Soundcloud (inc. free downloads)


My Heavenly Father Watches Over Me (feat. James Loynes)
My Heavenly Father Watches Over Me (Piano Track)

Click Soundcloud download icon to download the free track for personal use.

Recording featuring vocals by James Loynes:

Accompaniment track:

Apple Music, Amazon

These files may be copied/shared in any quantity in any physical format unless otherwise noted. They may not be re-sold or offered for download.



  (Video provided to YouTube by outside parties may contain ads that may be skipped after a few seconds.)


I trust in God wherever I may be
Upon the land or on the rolling sea
For come what may, from day to day
My Heavenly Father watches over me

He makes the rose an object of His care
He guides the eagle through the pathless air
So sure as He remembers these
My Heavenly Father watches over me

The valley may be dark, the shadows deep
But, oh, the Shepherd guards His lonely sheep
And through the gloom He’ll lead me home
My Heavenly Father watches over me

I trust in God; I know He cares for me
On mountain bleak or on the stormy sea
Though billows roll, He keeps my soul
My Heavenly Father watches over me

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  1. Jim Rakes

    I have really enjoyed singing your music and our congregation has been very complimentary.
    These last two, My Heavenly Father Watches Over Me and Holy, Holy, is the Lord have become my latest favorite.
    Keep up the good work and together we will continue to praise God and bring solace and joy to those around us.

  2. Ron Barkman

    Hello Sally, I’m writing you from Abbotsford, British Columbia … about 90 miles north of Seattle, WA.Two weeks ago after our church had completed taping our pastor’s sermon and a music number he asked me whether I knew the hymn ” My Heavenly Father Watches Over Me” I responded I do. He then asked me whether I or my daughter were open to singing it following next week’s sermon which was focused on God’s provision for Elijah. Within an hour of getting home that night we providently discovered your website and the rest is history. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful song with the body of Christ. The accompaniment track was in a perfect range for us to use. I’ve included a link to the service. You’ll find the duet right after our pastor’s sermon. Your comments on how the song came into being and its relevance were right on. Thank you again!

    • Sally DeFord

      Beautiful! I loved your added harmonies. 🙂

  3. Jerri Burk


  4. Clarice Nilson

    This is beautiful. thank you for sharing your talents with us.

  5. Connie Ames

    Thank you so very much for once again sharing your beautiful music. It always lifts my spirit and strengthens my testimony.

  6. Sue Bryson

    The words have touched my soul and your music my spirit as it always does. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Meledie Knopf

    So perfect, so timely, so beautiful! Thank you, once again, for sharing your precious gift of music, and for giving us a ray of sunshine in this dark and troubled world, especially during this chaotic time.

    I am so very sorry about the loss of your father, Sally. We know our loved ones are in a far better place and that we’ll see them again, but it doesn’t make the hurt and emptiness dissipate. That’s when the balm of Gilead, that sweet peace only the Lord can give us that heals our battered and broken heart.

    Stay safe and well!

  8. Chris Calkins

    Tender and sweet – delicious to the taste!
    Thank you.
    Praying that you and your mom receive the “peace that passeth all understanding”.

  9. Rebecca Thacker

    Yes, please do a choral arrangement. Please do it soon if possible. I would love my choir to have this to sing when we regroup. Thanks for all your beautiful songs!!

  10. Jessie Rickords

    Maybe by the time we get out of quarantine, you will have this ready for SATB! Our ward choir sings so many of your arrangements and we love them all! Stay well! And so sorry to hear about your dad. Give our love to your mom. And yourself

  11. Hannah Cabrera

    Beautiful!! Thank you so much for that!


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