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: He’s Alive!

Happy Resurrection Day!

Choosing just one song for this day was hard! There are so many great songs, but I had to go back to the one that has been my favorite since the first time I heard it. I was probably fourteen years old, when I heard Don Francisco’s “He’s Alive” on Christian radio. It’s the resurrection story told from Peter’s perspective. It was powerful stuff then, and it still is 40 years later.

He’s Alive

The gates and doors were barred and all the windows fastened down,
I spent the night in sleeplessness and rose at every sound,
Half in hopeless sorrow half in fear the day,
Would find the soldiers breaking through to drag us all away.

Then just before the sunrise I heard something at the wall,
The gate began to rattle and a voice began to call,
I hurried to the window and looked down to the street,
Expecting swords and torches and the sound of soldiers feet,

There was no one there but Mary so I went down to let her in,
John stood there beside me as she told us were she’d been,
She said they moved him in the night and none of us knows where,
The stones been rolled away and now his body isn’t there.

We both ran toward the garden then John ran on ahead,
We found the stone and the empty tomb just the way that Mary said,
But the winding sheet they wrapped him in was just an empty shell,
And how or where they’d taken him was more than I could tell.

Something strange had happened there but what I did not know,
John believed a miracle but I just turned to go,
Circumstance and speculation couldn’t lift me very high,
Cause I’d seen them crucify him and then I saw him die,

Back inside the house again all the guilt and anguish came,
Everything I’d promised him just added to my shame,
‘Cause when at last it came to choices I denied I knew his name,
Even If he was alive it wouldn’t be the same.

But suddenly the air was filled with a strange and sweet perfume,
Light that came from everywhere drove shadows from the room,
Jesus stood before me with his arms held open wide,
And I fell down on my knees and clung to him and cried,

He raised me to my feet and as I looked into his eyes,
Love was shining out from him like sunlight from the sky,
Guilt and my confusion disappeared in sweet release,
And every fear I’d ever had just melted into peace.

He’s alive, He’s alive, He’s alive and I’m forgiven,
Heavens gates are open wide.
He’s alive, He’s alive, He’s alive and I’m forgiven,
Heavens gates are open wide.
He’s alive, He’s alive, He’s alive and I’m forgiven,
Heavens gates are open wide.

He’s alive!
The song was included on Don’s second album called, “Forgiven”, in 1977. Many other artists have recorded it, the most well known probably being Dolly Parton. I love Dolly’s music, but for me, no one does the song like the man who wrote it.

This YouTube video is only a couple years old, and I think Don sounds just as good as he did 40 years ago; maybe better.

See you in church!

Connie

Songs for Sunday: Show Me Your Glory and He Hideth My Soul

Welcome to Songs for Sunday. Every Sunday morning, I’ll post something about a song or songs that pertain to other recent posts, or refer to “light” in some way. Consider it a great way to start your morning before you head out to church to meet with other believers. If it blesses you, please share it with others!

At the end of my “So, What is Glory?” Post, I shared the exchange between Moses and God from Exodus 33 and 34. Moses asked to see God’s glory, and God told him that he couldn’t see His face, but that God would put Moses in the cleft of a rock and cover him with is hand.  Then when God passed by, He would remove His hand and let Moses see Him from the back.

Today, I have two songs that refer back to that scripture.

The first is “Show Me Your Glory”, recorded by Third Day, and released in 2001 on their Grammy winning “Come Together” album. The song was written by Mark D. Lee, Samuel Tai Anderson, Bradley B.C. Avery, David Carr, Johnny Mac Powell, and Marc Byrd.

The song is a beautiful representation of not only Moses’ desire, but what should be ours as well.

I caught a glimpse of Your splendor
In the corner of my eye
The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen
And it was like a flash of lightning
Reflected off the sky
And I know I’ll never be the same

Show me Your Glory
Send down Your presence
I want to see Your face
Show me Your Glory
Majesty shines about You
I can’t go on without You, Lord

When I climb down the mountain
And get back to my life
I won’t settle for ordinary things
I’m gonna follow You forever
And for all of my days
I won’t rest ’til I see You again

Show me Your Glory
Send down Your presence
I want to see Your face
Show me Your Glory
Majesty shines about You
I can’t go on without You, Lord

(Lyrics from MetroLyrics.com

The second song can be found in many hymnals.  Published in 1890, the lyrics were written by Fanny Crosby, and the music by William J. Kirkpatrick. Fanny Crosby, blinded as an infant, wrote the lyrics to over 8000 hymns, as well as some secular songs. Kirkpatrick was a composer and music publisher. He is credited with composing nearly 200 songs, as well as publishing 50 song collections. There may be more collaborations between them, but I only found one other song, called “Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim It”.

As for “He Hideth My Soul, I have not found any additional information about it. However, the source for the chorus lyrics obviously comes from Exodus 33. I am always fascinated at how many of Fanny’s lyrics mention sight.

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
A wonderful Savior to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
Where rivers of pleasure I see.

  • Refrain:
    He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
    That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
    He hideth my life in the depths of His love,
    And covers me there with His hand,
    And covers me there with His hand

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
He taketh my burden away,
He holdeth me up and I shall not be moved,
He giveth me strength as my day.

With numberless blessings each moment He crowns,
And filled with His fullness divine,
I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God!
For such a Redeemer as mine.

When clothed with His brightness transported I rise
To meet Him in clouds of the sky,
His perfect salvation, His wonderful love,
I’ll shout with the millions on high. (Lyrics from Timeless Truths.com)

 

Here is a youtube video of Guy Penrod singing “He Hideth My Soul”

See you in church!
Connie

Hi There!

If you grew up in church like I did, there is a very good chance that you know this song…You probably know it if you only occasionally attended Sunday school or Vacation Bible school.

This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine
Let it shine
Let it shine

Hide it under a bushel, NO!
I’m gonna let it shine
Hide it under a bushel, NO!
I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine
Let it shine
Let it shine

Won’t let Satan blow it out
I’m gonna let it shine
Won’t let Satan blow it out
I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine
Let it shine
Let it shine

Let it shine round (your town’s name)
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine round (your town’s name)
I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine
Let it shine
Let it shine

Let it shine til Jesus comes
I”m gonna let it shine
Let it shine til Jesus comes
I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine
Let it shine
Let it shine

You sang along didn’t you?

Doing a little research into the song itself, (you’ll find out that I’m a bit of a history buff), I found that, according to Wikipedia, the lyrics were written by Avis Burgeson Christiansen, and the music by Harry Dixon Loes, some time around 1920.  You can read the Wikipedia article here. Other sources did credit Loes with the tune (here’s one), but I haven’t found any other sources giving Christian credit for the lyrics. Some sources list it as a Negro spiritual.

While the identity of the lyricist is up in the air, the ultimate source for the lyrics is not. They come straight from scripture. Matthew chapter five begin what we now know as the “Sermon of the Mount”.  Jesus is speaking to a large crowd of people. In  verses 14-16 he says,

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

So, this blog, what is it all about?

Well, first of all, its about Jesus, the Light. Everything we do here is for his glory. So, we’re going to talk about him as the Light and as the Word. We’re going to dig into scripture to see what God has to say to us.

Then, it’s about us…the light bearers. It’s about letting his perfect light shine through our less than perfect lives, and allowing that light to transform those lives. When others see His light shining through us, it guides them to Him. That’s why we’re here!

Because music is an integral part of worship, we’ll be talking about music too, as well as composers and lyricists. They are light-bearers too, and many serve as great examples for us.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by for my first post. I’ll be back soon.

Connie