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September 09, 2004

How can I keep from singing?

The Tiger in Winter writes about Anglican hymns.

Just happened to be thinking of my old schooldays. And you know what? The thing I seem to miss most is what annoyed me most when I was there -- chapel. I found this page with favourite hymns of various Anglicans, and I found some dear old friends.

I submit "How Can I Keep From Singing" by American Baptist minister, Robert Lowry (music by Ira David Sankey) for your consideration. People often attribute it to the Quakers, falsely I am afraid, or even the Shakers... A good one for fighting Quakers!

"How Can I Keep From Singing?

"My life flows in endless song, above earth's lamentation,
I hear the real though far off hymn, that hails a new creation.
No storm can shake my inmost calm, I hear the music ringing,
It sounds an echo in my soul. How can I keep from singing?

"When tyrants tremble, sick with fear, and hear their death-knells ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near, how can I keep from singing?
In prison cell or dungeon dark, our thoughts to them are winging,
When friends by shame are undefiled, how can I keep from singing.

"What though the tempest 'round me roars, I know the truth, it liveth.
What though the darkness 'round me close, songs in the night it giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm, while to that rock I'm clinging.
Since love is Lord of heaven and earth. How can I keep from singing?

"I lift my eyes, the clouds grow thin, I see the blue above it.
And day by day this pathway clears, since first I learned to love it.
The peace from love makes fresh my heart, a song of hope is ringing.
All things are mine, since truth I've found. How can I keep from singing."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at September 9, 2004 08:21 AM

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I first heard this song sung by Enya, and she did a beautifully etherial version of it. I know it's popular to dis on Enya, but I enjoy her work.

I like hymn music, too. Actually I like any music that I hear often enough, but there's something about hymn music, across the centuries, that is truly wonderful.

Posted by: *** Dave at September 10, 2004 09:43 AM