Thursday, April 9, 2015

H is for... How Great Thou Art


"How Great Thou Art" is possibly one of my most favorite hymns of all-time, not just for the lyrics, but for the powerful melody as well.




"How Great Thou Art" is based on a Swedish traditional melody and poem written by Carl Gustav Boberg in Sweden in 1885. It was translated into German and then into Russian and became a hymn. It was translated into English from the Russian by British missionary Stuart K. Hine, who also added two original verses of his own. The composition was set to the Russian melody. It was popularized by George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows during the Billy Graham crusades. It was voted the United Kingdom's favourite hymn by BBC's Songs of Praise. "How Great Thou Art" was ranked second (after "Amazing Grace") on a list of the favorite hymns of all time in a survey by Today's Christian magazine in 2001. Notably all English versions (a Johnny Cash live performance excluded) are made in a slow, partly almost reciting way, totally different from the uptempo in the Swedish original.

The inspiration for the poem came when Boberg was walking home from church near Kronobäck, Sweden, and listening to church bells. A sudden awe-inspiring storm gripped Boberg’s attention, and then just as suddenly as it had made its violent entrance, it subsided to a peaceful calm which Boberg observed over Mönsterås Bay.

The author, Carl Boberg himself gave the following information about the inspiration behind his poem:

"It was that time of year when everything seemed to be in its richest colouring; the birds were singing in trees and everywhere. It was very warm; a thunderstorm appeared on the horizon and soon thunder and lightning. We had to hurry to shelter. But the storm was soon over and the clear sky appeared.

"When I came home I opened my window toward the sea. There evidently had been a funeral and the bells were playing the tune of 'When eternity's clock calling my saved soul to its Sabbath rest.' That evening, I wrote the song, 'O Store Gud.'"

Please enjoy today's earworm:

https://youtu.be/pLLMzr3PFgk



What does tomorrow bring?

Will it be The Isley Brothers?  Irene Cara?  Imagine Dragons?

or maybe "I Fall To Pieces"?  "I Am A Rock"?  "It's Alright, It's Okay"?

or perhaps a genre - Indie? Industrial Rock? Irish Folk Music?

Tune in to find out! 




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