Thursday, April 17, 2014

I Will Sing The Wondrous Story

Thinking of this coming Sunday which will be Easter, I was reminded of a hymn, " I Will Sing The Wondrous Story".    In the Episcopal church, this song is sung to the tune of "Hyfrydol" but in the Baptist church (the church from my childhood), it is sung to a tune by Peter B. Bilhorn (who wrote over 2000 hymns!).  The lyrics are by Francis H. Rowley, written in 1886.  The Rev. Rowley was not only a Baptist preacher but also an author and an advocate for the prevention of cruelty to animals.

This first video is of this song to the tune of "Hyfrydol" which in Welsh means "cheerful".  Sometimes, I think this is sung too slowly but this seems just right to me.  (This same tune is used for some other songs in the Episcopal church, one of my favorites is "Alleluia, Sing To Jesus", another beautiful hymn sung at Easter.)

This second video is of this same song but it is with the tune that I know from my childhood. This is from a Baptist church in Alabama.  Both versions are very dear to me.  I love them both.  After all, I am Georgia Girl With An English Heart, you know!

And the man who wrote the tune, Peter P. Bilhorn?  I was pleased to read that in 1900, he was invited to London to lead a choir of 4000 in  the Crystal Palace!  Queen Victoria also invited him to  Buckingham Palace.  (I believe that these men received the most satisfaction for knowing that their music and words went to the glory of God, but it still makes me glad that they were recognized and appreciated for their musical talents.)

No matter what tune is used, the words are strong and powerful and I have them for you here.
Do you have a favorite Easter hymn? Sing it!

 (I know that tomorrow is Good Friday, and one of the most moving hymns for that day is "Were You There When They Crucified My Lord".

  1. I will sing the wondrous story
    Of the Christ Who died for me;
    How He left His home in glory
    For the cross of Calvary.

    • Refrain:
      Yes, I’ll sing the wondrous story
      Of the Christ Who died for me,
      Sing it with the saints in glory,
      Gathered by the crystal sea.
  2. I was lost, but Jesus found me,
    Found the sheep that went astray,
    Threw His loving arms around me,
    Drew me back into His way.
  3. I was bruised, but Jesus healed me,
    Faint was I from many a fall,
    Sight was gone, and fears possessed me,
    But He freed me from them all.
  4. Days of darkness still come o’er me,
    Sorrow’s path I often tread,
    But His presence still is with me;
    By His guiding hand I’m led.
  5. He will keep me till the river
    Rolls its waters at my feet;
    Then He’ll bear me safely over,
    Where the loved ones I shall meet.


  1. Funny that you mention speed that the song is sung. When my baptist friend would visit my presbyterian church, he would comment: "Are all the songs this slow?"

    My all time favorite Easter hymn is Robert Lowry's "Low in the Grave He Lay." I have that one running through my head year-round anyway.

  2. Going forward, I am wishing you and yours a Happy Easter!

  3. I have many favourite hymns, despite not being a Christian for nearly 40 years. An especially significant one to me is actually not a hymn per se but the solo from Handel's Messiah -- "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth." Very appropriate for Easter.

  4. I wish you and all your family a very Blessed and Joyful Easter!