(CCSLQ-29) – Song in Your Heart

This is part of a series exploring quotations attributed to C.S. Lewis that are questionable for one reason or another. Presently a new article is posted the first Saturday of each month (or second if there are five Saturdays). There is an “at a glance” page HERE to quickly see what has been posted so far in this series. Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to read the INTRODUCTION to this series.   


“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”

This is a quotation I hadn’t seen until John Trainer asked me about it on September 24, 2016 via Facebook. You might recall his name, as one of his quotes is falsely attributed to Lewis. It was the tenth in this series, about children not being a distraction. Lewis has written on the topic of friendship specifically in The Four Loves, but the above quotation isn’t found there (and it’s not in his other works either). However, there is a similar expression found online attributed to another person.

The Goodreads site gives credit to someone named Donna Roberts for the following:

“A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.”

As far back as 2007 (yea, I know that’s not very far, but in “Internet time,” it’s a fair distance) Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend by Lisa J. Copen credits Donna Roberts as the author. A variety of places online credit “anonymous” or “unknown” for the version alleged to be from Lewis.

If the version credited to Roberts is correct then it seems as though someone wasn’t aware of her expression. Then, knowing Lewis wrote so many wonderful things and that he believed strongly in friendship someone must have thought it was Lewis who said the quotation in question.

WHAT LEWIS SAID THAT’S RELATED (or closest to it):

“Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?”
from The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 2 (to Dom Bede Griffiths on December 21, 1941)


“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself (for God did not need to create). It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival. “
from The Four Loves (Chapter 4) 


“The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are. ”
from Hamlet: The Prince or the Poem (in Selected Literary Essays)


“People who bore one another should meet seldom; people who interest one another, often.”
from The Four Loves (Chapter 4) 

The next article is:

“Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you never know who would love the person you hide.”

Related Articles:

What Lewis NEVER Wrote  (Podcast)

Not Quite Lewis – Podcast Version

Not Quite Lewis – Questionable Lewisian Quotations (Conf. Paper)

Updated 12/3/2016