Songs for Sunday: Where He Leads Me

This hymn has been running around in my head for a couple of weeks now, and I catch myself humming the melody. We often sang it as an “Invitation Hymn” at church when I was a kid.

Where He Leads Me

  1. I can hear my Savior calling,
    I can hear my Savior calling,
    I can hear my Savior calling,
    “Take thy cross and follow, follow Me.”

    • Refrain:
      Where He leads me I will follow,
      Where He leads me I will follow,
      Where He leads me I will follow,
      I’ll go with Him, with Him all the way.
  2. I’ll go with Him through the waters,
    I’ll go with Him through the waters,
    I’ll go with Him through the waters,
    I’ll go with Him, with Him all the way.
  3. I’ll go with Him through the garden,
    I’ll go with Him through the garden,
    I’ll go with Him through the garden,
    I’ll go with Him, with Him all the way.
  4. I’ll go with Him to dark Calv’ry,
    I’ll go with Him to dark Calv’ry,
    I’ll go with Him to dark Calv’ry,
    I’ll go with Him, with Him all the way.
  5. I’ll go with Him to the judgment,
    I’ll go with Him to the judgment,
    I’ll go with Him to the judgment,
    I’ll go with Him, with Him all the way.
  6. He will give me grace and glory,
    He will give me grace and glory,
    He will give me grace and glory,
    And go with me, with me all the way.

My usual hymn research sites didn’t offer much information about E. W. Blandy (also spelled “Blandly” ) other than a brief statement in Hymnary.org, saying  he was a Salvation Army officer and had written the lyrics after given the choice between “a comfortable post at an established church, and an alternate assignment to the New York City waterfront and slum called Hell’s Kitchen.” He went to Hell’s Kitchen.

John S. Norris (1844-1907) composed the beautiful melody.  He was a Methodist pastor who changed to the Congregationalist denomination, and continued ministering there. He pastored several churches over about a thirty year timespan. According to Hymn Time, he wrote several hymns,

Hymn Time also says that the hymn was written in 1890, but gave no information how the two men might have collaborated.

When I started surfing YouTube looking for recordings of this song, I really didn’t find much that I wanted to use. I wanted to find something that was arranged as closely to the original as I could get. At first I thought the only one what was really close was a recording by Willie Nelson. If you know anything about Willie’s style, particularly his musical phrasing, you know why that is strange. However, Willie does a great job with this one. If you want to (I know Ed will), you can hear it here.

Finally, I found this really nice recording by Lynda Randle.  It was “provided to YouTube by Universal Music Group North America”.

What about you?
Are you following Him?
See you in church!

Connie

Songs For Sunday: Tell Me The Old Old Story – I Love To Tell the Story

I am always amazed when I research old hymns. I always find something interesting. I started looking for Tell Me the Old Old Story, which is similar to I Love To Tell The Story.

Researching this morning, I discovered that both hymns are based on one lengthy poem, written in 1866 by an English woman named A. Katherine Hankey (1834-1911). The poem called “The Old Old Story” is written in two parts; the first dated in January of 1866, and the second in November of the same year. You can read the whole poem here. It is said that she wrote the poem while convalescing after a serious illness.

A. Katherine Hankey, or Kate as she was called, was the daughter of a banker, and a member of the Clapham sect, which was both anti slavery and pro missionary. She taught Sunday school for girls as a teenager and later worked as a nurse in South Africa, while helping her invalid brother.

Tell Me the Old Old Story was taken from the first part of the poem. The music was written by William Doane, (1832-1915), who according to Cyber Hymnal.Org, heard the poem recited in 1867 by a Major General Russel at a men’s fellowship in Montreal. He wrote the music on a “hot afternoon while on the stage-coach between the Glen Falls House and the Crawford House in the White Mountains.”

Noting the years of Doane’s life, curiousity got the better of me. I wondered if he might have written music for any of Fanny Crosby’s lyrics. He did. Both “Near the Cross”, and “Safe in the Arms of Jesus” were collaborations between Doane and Crosby. All told, Doane composed over 2000 songs.

Tell Me the Old, Old Story

Tell me the old, old story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
Tell me the story simply, as to a little child,
For I am weak and weary, and helpless and defiled.

Refrain

Tell me the old, old story, tell me the old, old story,
Tell me the old, old story, of Jesus and His love.

Tell me the story slowly, that I may take it in,
That wonderful redemption, God’s remedy for sin.
Tell me the story often, for I forget so soon;
The early dew of morning has passed away at noon.

Refrain

Tell me the story softly, with earnest tones and grave;
Remember I’m the sinner whom Jesus came to save.
Tell me the story always, if you would really be,
In any time of trouble, a comforter to me.

Refrain

Tell me the same old story when you have cause to fear
That this world’s empty glory is costing me too dear.
Yes, and when that world’s glory is dawning on my soul,
Tell me the old, old story: “Christ Jesus makes thee whole.”

Refrain

Here is a YouTube video uploaded by Gandalf1948, of Tennessee Ernie Ford’s recording of Tell Me the Old, Old Story.

William G. Fischer (1835-1912) took from the second part of the poem and wrote “I Love To Tell The Story” Fischer was an interesting character in that he began singing with the church choir as a child, where he learned to read music. He learned piano and organ as well . While learning book binding during the day, he practiced music in the evening. He directed choirs, taught singing and music theory. He finally opened a piano business which became extremely prosperous.

I Love To Tell The Story

I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true;
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.

Refrain

I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

I love to tell the story; more wonderful it seems
Than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams.
I love to tell the story, it did so much for me;
And that is just the reason I tell it now to thee.

Refrain

I love to tell the story; ’tis pleasant to repeat
What seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story, for some have never heard
The message of salvation from God’s own holy Word.

Refrain

I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song,
’Twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.

Refrain

Here is another Tennessee Ernie Ford recording uploaded by Gandalf1948. This time, Ernie is singing I Love To Tell The Story

See you in church!

Connie

Songs for Sunday: Send the Light

Good morning! Welcome to Songs for Sunday!

This hymn is one of two that have been running around in my head for a few weeks. I decided to research it a little and share it with you. I’ll probably do the other one next week.

Send the Light

There’s a call comes ringing over the restless wave,
“Send the light! Send the light!”
There are souls to rescue there are souls to save,
Send the light! Send the light!

Refrain

Send the light, the blessèd Gospel light;
Let it shine from shore to shore!
Send the light, the blessèd Gospel light;
Let it shine forevermore!

We have heard the Macedonian call today,
“Send the light! Send the light!”
And a golden offering at the cross we lay,
Send the light! Send the light!

Refrain

Let us pray that grace may everywhere abound,
“Send the light! Send the light!”
And a Christlike spirit everywhere be found,
Send the light! Send the light!

Refrain

Let us not grow weary in the work of love,
“Send the light! Send the light!”
Let us gather jewels for a crown above,
Send the light! Send the light!

Refrain

I can remember singing this in church as a kid. I loved it then, and I still do.  The song is about spreading the gospel; fulfilling the Great Commission to “go and tell”.

The “Macedonian call” in verse 2 refers to something recorded in Acts 16.

Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. (Acts 16:6-10).

According to Cyber Hymnal.org, “Send the Light” was written by Charles Hutchinson Gabriel in 1890. He was a composer, music teacher, choir director and music publisher. You can find more information about him, as well as a list of many of his works here.

Like they do today, music publishers of the 19th century published song books that contained works by many different people. However, they did not have access to the number of talented men and women we do today.

Composers and lyricists often used pen names in order to give the impression there were more people composing and writing than actually existed. Charles Gabriel used at least three: H. A. Henry, Charlotte. G. Homer, and S. B. Jackson. In comparison, Fanny Crosby wrote under at least fifty.

Here is a nice youtube video of “Send the Light” performed by the Corban University Chamber Orchestra, Concert Band, and Concert Choir.

See you in church!

Connie