top of page

HYMN 15 Not Even One Small Sparrow

Updated: May 3, 2020

Norwegian: Ikke en spurv til jorden

Matthew 10:29

Sigurd Lunde

Text: Ingeborg Prytz Fougner (1913-1996) Tune: Sigurd Lunde (1916-2006)

1. Not even one small sparrow

Falls to the earth alone.

No single soul who’s dying

Dies without being known.

No single flow’r can blossom

No single tear can fall

Without our Father’s knowledge

He who is over all.

2. Trust this when storms are sweeping

Leaves from the autumn trees,

Trust when the fires are burning

Scorching the barren weeds.

Trust it when undefended

You battle evil pow’rs,

Trust it when sad and lonely

Pain fills your days and hours.

3. Trust it when things feel broken

And, it seems, getting worse,

Trust it when someone loses

All and they feel they’re cursed,

Trust when your hope seems hopeless

And nothing good seems true.

Not even one small sparrow….

This is God’s word for you.

Tr. Gracia Grindal


Akk og takk! These are the two ways we pray, a Norwegian pastor once said in a sermon.

He reflected on the fact that after an operation his pain was so bad that while he was

recovering all he could say was Akk! His mother-in-law upbraided him and said “Kan du

ikke si takk!” Can’t you say thanks!

Sometimes that is hard. This hymn, a popular hymn among youth in Norway, seems

almost bleak. It describes many situations where God does not seem to be present: natural disasters, the seeming triumph of evil, being lonely, feeling broken, losing everything, even your hope. These are the feelings many of us have these days. Things seem to be getting worse and worse. Is there any light to see at the end of the tunnel?

Ingeborg Prytz Fougner (1913-1996), a Norwegian author and wife of Pastor Ivar

Fougner, who served in Kragerø and Sofienberg Church in Oslo, wrote this hymn not

long after the Second World War had ended. In her life and work she undoubtedly had

met many people who thought all was lost. Even after the war in Norway, it took years to

recover from the Depression and Nazi occupation. Life was hard. She looked at these

issues with a level gaze and addressed many feelings of hopelessness that people around

her were feeling. The hymn exhorts them to remember the promise of Jesus in Matthew

10:29, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the

group apart from your Father? But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not,

therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

The hymn is not about looking back at trouble, but living through it. Even in these

moments of feeling abandoned, God is with us. Jesus says, Fear not. The Father knows

everything and cares for you.

Prayer is really this—to go to the Father with our terrors, all that is causing us fear and

trepidation. We can cry akk! freely, knowing he cares for us. We wait in hope, even in

these bleak days, believing in all this there is still much to be thankful for! This is God’s

word to you. Thanks be to God!


The first tune, the one in the current Norwegian hymnal, was written around 1973 by

Sigurd Lunde, Bishop of Stavanger. He was a good friend of Mindekirken and many

Norwegian American church people. (Sorry there is not an English version on Youtube.)

The second tune by Ivar Skippervold seems to be more popular with the contemporary

Gospel world.


Sigurd Lunde singing his own song

Ragnhild Hanssen

Krupka Trio/a jazz version

19 views0 comments
bottom of page