Sunday, March 12, 2006

How Great Thou Art

Verse 1:
O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made.
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power through-out the universe displayed.

Chorus:
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee;
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Verse 2:
When through the woods and forest glades
I wander And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

Verse 3:
And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:

Verse 4:
When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, my God. how great Thou art!


By Pastor Carl Boberg
The Original Swedish lyrics, titled "O, Store Gud" and written in 1886 were inspired by a visit to a beautiful country estate on the southeast coast of Sweden. Pastor Carl Boberg was suddenly caught in a midday thunderstorm with awe inspiring moments of flashing violence, followed by a clear brilliant sun. Soon afterwards he heard the calm sweet songs of the birds in nearby trees. The experience prompted the pastor to fall to his knees in humble adoration of his mighty God. (Osbeck 133) As the result of this experience he wrote a 9 stanza poem, and several years later at a conference, was surprised to hear his poem sung to the tune of an old Swedish folk melody. It was translated into German, then a literal translation by an American in 1925: "O Mighty God, When I behold the Wonder." The song was also translated from German to Russian in 1927. Missionary Stuart Hine, inspired by the Russian words coupled with the awesome sights of the Carpathian mountains, wrote the first three English verses, the fourth came after WW II.
The hymn was made famous by George Beverly Shea during the Billy Graham Crusade in London.

6 comments:

shoprat said...

This is easily my favorite hymn, especially when sung by a deep bass voice.

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

One of my VERY FAVORITES!! (smiling)

Rebekah said...

I love that one! It's so beautiful and meaningful compared to what's being sung today.

NEO, SOC said...

Shoprat; I can do this song in a deep bass voice. But, I'll have to do it when my choir director is not looking because for some strange reason he thinks I came from the Von Trap family and wants me singing high tenor. But, agreed this song is awesome! Great selection jgf!

ABFreedom said...

Great song and great history lesson jgf. I hear these all the time, but had no idea where they came from until I started coming to your house...

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

You always pick great hymns. I even took some time to sing this. Thanks!!!!