Hymns about the Parable of the Prodigal Son

This is a selection of hymns based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

It does not include hymns about other topics which could be impled from the parable - just ones which relate directly to it.

The list is grouped into two sections:
  • Free-use (either copyright has expired, or the author has allowed them to be freely used)
  • Still subject to copyright and so can only be used if you are covered by a copyright license.

Both children's and adults hymns / songs are included in each list - because except for the youngest of children, it is is difficult to draw a clear distinction between them.

About the Parable of the Prodigal Son

This bible story, told in Luke 15:11-32, is also known as the Parable of the Lost Son. It is told in a section to Luke's gospel which is focussed on the lost - immediately after the the parable of the Lost Sheep and the parable of the Lost Coin. It is a response the Pharisees' complaining that he welcomes and eats with sinners.

In the parable, a man has two sons. The younger son asks his father for his inheritance, and once he gets it, the son travels to a distant land and wastes his fortune on wild living.

When the son's money runs out, the country is in a severe famine and the son finds himself reduced to taking a job feeding pigs. As he becomes even more desperate, he longs to eat the pig's food.

Eventually he comes to his senses, and returns to his father, asking for mercy and forgiveness. The father receives his son back with open arms: He is overjoyed by the return, and asks the servants to prepare a feast to celebrate the younger son's return.

This angers the older son, who returns from working the fields to discover a party being held to celebrate his feckless younger brother. The father addresses this saying "your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!”

Songs and hymns which may be freely used

Afflictions, though they seem severe - Newton

Brother hast thou Wandered Far - Clarke

Coming Home - Teasley (1900)

I'll Go (Come, wanderer come) - Baker

Lord, I'm Coming Home - Kirkpatrick

O Prodigal Don't Stay Away - Rankin

Return, O Wanderer, Return - Collyer

Return O Wanderer to thy Home - Hastings

The Prodigal Child - Gates

The Prodigal Child - Cosner
The Prodigal Son (Here feast I at my Father’s board) - Guild

The Prodigal Son (Out in the wilderness wild and drear) - Chisholm

The Repenting Prodigal - Beddone

Wandering Child O Come Home

Welcome Wand'rer Welcome - Bonar

The Prodigal with Streaming Eyes - Sigourney

Hymns and songs which may still be copyright

Ballad of the Prodigal Son - Winter

Come Home ([Come, ye prodigal in sin, far away]) - Warren

Come Prodigal Child - Warren

Father I have Sinned - O'Reilly

Like the Prodigal Son I Wandered in Darkness - Cantrell

Older Brother - Stuempfle

Our Father we have Wandered - Nichols

Like the Prodigal Son (No matter how far you've run) · De Waal  (Contemporary - video)

Like the Prodigal Son (I wandered in darkness) - unknown

The Prodigal - DeFord (info)

The Prodigal Son - Bleazard (for children, to the tune Rise and Shine - video)

See also ...

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