A look at the history of the hymn “How Great Thou Art” and how it has become such a popular and well-loved song.
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How the hymn came to be written
The hymn ‘How Great Thou Art’ has a long and interesting history. It was originally written in Swedish by Carl Boberg in 1885. The hymn was inspired by a storm that Boberg had experienced while walking home from church one evening.
The hymn was first translated into English in 1911 by Stuart K. Hine. Hine’s translation is the one that is most commonly sung today.
The hymn has been recorded by many artists over the years, including George Beverly Shea, Elvis Presley, and Amy Grant.
The hymn’s place in the history of Christian music
How Great Thou Art is a Christian hymn based on a Swedish poem written by Carl Boberg in 1885. The poem was translated into German and then into English by Briton Edward Henry Bickersteth, son of a British Anglican clergyman. It was first published in England in 1924 as part of a collection of hymns titled Spiritual Songs from the Swedish. The collection included 12 hymns, all with music composed by Gustav Holst. How Great Thou Art was not included in the original collection but was added later at the request of Holst’s daughter Imogen, who thought the book would be incomplete without it.
The hymn has been translated into many languages and is popular worldwide. It is frequently sung at religious services and events such as funerals, graduations, and weddings. In 2017, it was named the official state song of Arkansas.
How Great Thou Art is considered to be one of the most important hymns in the history of Christian music. It has been covered by many artists, including Mahalia Jackson, Elvis Presley, Andrea Bocelli, Johnny Cash, and Whitney Houston.
The hymn’s place in the worship of the church
The hymn “How Great Thou Art” has been a staple in the worship of the church for many years. This familiar hymn was written by Carl Boberg in 1885 and has been translated into many languages. The hymn is based on a Swedish folk tune and the lyrics are based on Psalm 8. The hymn is a reminder of the majesty of God and His great love for us.
The hymn’s theological significance
How Great Thou Art is one of the most popular hymns in the world. The lyrics are based on a poem written by Carl Boberg in 1885. The hymn has been translated into many languages and has been recorded by many artists.
The hymn is based on Psalm 8, which extols God’s greatness and majesty. The lyrics express awe and wonder at God’s creation and power. The hymn is a reminder that, despite the chaos and turmoil of the world, God is still in control.
The theological significance of the hymn lies in its ability to help us remember that God is sovereign and powerful. In a world that often seems out of control, the hymn reminds us that we can trust God to take care of us.
The hymn’s impact on popular culture
How Great Thou Art is a Christian hymn based on a Swedish traditional melody and a poem written by Carl Boberg in 1885. The hymn first gained popularity in the English-speaking world outside of Scandinavia in the 1940s, and has been translated into many languages. It is especially popular in churches that subscribe to the Wesleyan tradition, and has been recorded by numerous artists from a variety of genres.
The hymn’s impact on popular culture was most recently exemplified by its use in the film The Greatest Showman (2017), which tells the story of P.T. Barnum’s creation of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. In the film, the character of Jenny Lind sings How Great Thou Art as part of her performance for Barnum’s circus. The song was also used in an episode of the television show Glee, which featured a cover version performed by the character Rachel Berry.
The hymn’s influence on other hymns
The hymn “How Great Thou Art” has been a staple in churches around the world for many years. The hymn’s simple, yet profound lyrics have inspired many other hymns and songs over the years. Here are just a few examples of how this classic hymn has influenced other pieces of music:
“Amazing Grace”: This popular hymn was written by John Newton, who was inspired by the words of “How Great Thou Art.”
“Be Thou My Vision”: This Irish hymn was written in the early 1900s and is based on a poem that was inspired by “How Great Thou Art.”
“You Are My All in All”: This contemporary Christian song was written in the 1970s and includes lyrics that are similar to those found in “How Great Thou Art.”
The hymn’s use in film and television
The hymn has been used in a number of films and television programs over the years. Notable uses include:
-The 1951 film “A Place in the Sun”, starring Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. The hymn is used during the film’s famous “light” scene, in which Clift’s character is shown looking out over a vast valley.
-The 1963 film “Lilies of the Field”, starring Sidney Poitier. The hymn is used during a scene in which Poitier’s character helps a group of nuns to build a chapel.
-The 1971 film “Fiddler on the Roof”, starring Topol. The hymn is used during the film’s wedding scene, in which Tevye and Golde are married.
-The 1980 film “9 to 5”, starring Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin. The hymn is used during a scene in which Parton’s character is fired from her job.
-The 1992 television series “Northern Exposure”, in which the character Chris Stevens (played by Rob Morrow) frequently plays the hymn on his radio show.
The hymn’s use in other media
The hymn has been used in a number of other media:
*The hymn was featured in the Ken Burns documentary, The Civil War, when it was sung by the United States Marine Band at the funeral of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865.
*It was also used in the soundtrack to the 2005 film, The Constant Gardener.
*In 2006, country music singer Carrie Underwood released a cover of the song as part of her first gospel album, Some Hearts.
The hymn’s place in the modern church
The hymn first appeared in 1819 in a book of Swedish folk songs and was titled “O Store Gud” (“O Great God”). It did not gain popularity outside of Sweden until 1885, when English preacher C.M. Toplady (1740-1778) heard it while traveling in Sweden. Toplady adapted the tune and added new lyrics, which he titled “Rock of Ages.” The hymn became popular in the United States and Britain and has been translated into many languages.
Today, the hymn is sung in churches all over the world and is a staple of Protestant hymnals. It is often used during funerals and memorial services, as its lyrics express a hope for eternal life after death.
The hymn’s future
The hymn’s future
The hymn “How Great Thou Art” has been a source of inspiration and comfort for Christians around the world for many years. But what does the future hold for this beloved hymn?
It is safe to say that the hymn will continue to be a staple in churches and homes for many years to come. Its simple, yet powerful message of God’s love and greatness is one that resonates with people of all ages.
While it is impossible to predict the exact future of the hymn, one thing is certain: it will continue to be a source of inspiration and hope for Christians everywhere.