Someone to Watch Over Me

How Can I Keep From Singing

03:35
Robert Brereton
0000-00-00
Robert Wadsworth Lowry (1826-1899)

Story

On my recording, I incorrectly cited this as a traditional Quaker hymn. It was actually written by Robert Wadsworth Lowry, an American Baptist Minister. Lowry also wrote the famous hymn "Shall We Gather At The River" among others. The lyrics most commonly used today, however, are from a version Pete Seger learned from Doris Plenn, who learned it from her North Carolina family.

Lyrics

Although this is instrumental on the recording, I thought I'd include the lyrics here on the website. Lyrics - Robert Wadsworth Lowry (1860) My life flows on in endless song; Above earth’s lamentation I hear the sweet though far off hymn That hails a new creation: Through all the tumult and the strife I hear the music ringing; It finds an echo in my soul— How can I keep from singing? What though my joys and comforts die? The Lord my Savior liveth; What though the darkness gather round! Songs in the night He giveth: No storm can shake my inmost calm While to that refuge clinging; Since Christ is Lord of Heav’n and earth, How can I keep from singing? I lift mine eyes; the cloud grows thin; I see the blue above it; And day by day this pathway smoothes Since first I learned to love it: The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart, A fountain ever springing: All things are mine since I am His How can I keep from singing? ___________________________ Version made popular by Pete Seeger My life flows on in endless song Above earth's lamentation. I hear the real, thought far off hymn That hails the new creation Above the tumult and the strife, I hear the music ringing; It sounds an echo in my soul How can I keep from singing? What through the tempest loudly roars, I hear the truth, it liveth. What through 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? When tyrants tremble, sick with fear, And hear their death-knell ringing, When friends rejoice both far and near, How can I keep from singing? In prison cell and dungeon vile Our thoughts to them are winging. When friends by shame are undefiled, How can I keep from singing?
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