Choir asks “How Can I Keep From Singing?”

This song is in our hymnal under the title “My Life Flows On In Endless Song”.  Baptist minister Robert Wadsworth Lowry wrote the original words, published in 1868 in The New York Observer.  The Choir will perform it on Sunday the 31st.  The first verse goes:

My life flows on in endless song:
Above earth’s lamentation,
I catch the sweet, tho’ far-off hymn
That hails a new creation.
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It sounds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?

We Unitarian Universalists changed the words a little in the second verse:

What tho’ the tempest ’round me roars,
I know the truth, it liveth.
What tho’ 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 prevails in heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?

… and a lot in the third:

When tyrants tremble as they hear
The bells of freedom ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near,
How can I keep from singing!
To prison cell and dungeon vile
Our thoughts to them are winging;
When friends by shame are undefiled,
How can I keep from singing?

If you hear someone singing the wrong words, it’s prob’ly me, Randy Jones.  I was raised Baptist and learned the song long, long ago!

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