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The Lighthouse of the Lord

(Bob Nolan) 


The cross still stands

Just like a lighthouse burning.

I see it there, I see it there.

And there’s no fear,

No doubt of safe returning,

For I have found the lighthouse of the Lord.


“Come safely home,”

I hear a great Voice calling.

And, lo, behold the tempest rolls away

And there the Hands

That bear the mark of Calvary

That we may find the lighthouse of the Lord.



            Bob Nolan grappled with ideas of life and death and eternity for most of his life. His early religious songs reflect organized religion but, as the years went on, he developed other ideas with which he was more comfortable. His progression of thought can be traced through his poetry. When he wrote "Relative Man", he was finally sure he had the answer to all his wonderings.

            All we have of "Lighthouse of the Lord" is the lead sheet, © 1957 09 27, made for him by the Bob Ross Music Service in Hollywood, so we asked Dr. Gene Davenport to share the demo he made. There appears to be a problem with the printing in the lead sheet, according to Dave Bourne, our music consultant. “In the chart, on the next to last measure of the 2nd line, the G should be a G#. Try playing a G natural against the C#7 chord and you’ll see what I mean.”

            We also ran into a problem when we tried to renew the copyright:

            “Before January 1, 1978, copyright in an unpublished work began on the date of registration in the Copyright Office and copyright in a published work began on the date of first publication. In both cases, the copyright was continued for 28 years. Works copyrighted before January 1, 1964, could have been renewed for a second term ONLY IF we had received an acceptable renewal application and filing fee during the last calendar year of the original term. The renewal year is measured from December 31 of the 27th year of the copyright to December 31 of the 28th year. If a renewal registration was not made within the prescribed time limits, copyright protection was lost.

            “If the work was properly renewed in 1988, it would still be under protection and no registration would be necessary. If the work was not renewed, it fell into the public domain and cannot be restored. In either case, we cannot make another registration for this work.” (Laura Lee Fischer, Supervisory Examiner, LOC, October 20, 2004)



Gene Davenport


© 1957 09 27, made for him by the Bob Ross Music Service in Hollywood