6433. Shall We Gather at the River?

1. Shall we gather at the river,
Where bright angel feet have trod,
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?

Refrain
Yes, we’ll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river;
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.

2. On the margin of the river,
Washing up its silver spray,
We will talk and worship ever,
All the happy golden day. [Refrain]

3. Ere we reach the shining river,
Lay we every burden down;
Grace our spirits will deliver,
And provide a robe and crown. [Refrain]

4. At the smiling of the river,
Mirror of the Savior’s face,
Saints, whom death will never sever,
Lift their songs of saving grace. [Refrain]

5. Soon we’ll reach the silver river,
Soon our pilgrimage will cease;
Soon our happy hearts will quiver
With the melody of peace. [Refrain]

Text Information
First Line: Shall we gather at the river
Title: Shall We Gather at the River?
Author: Robert Lowry (1864)
Refrain First Line: Yes, we'll gather at the river
Language: English
Source: First published in Happy Voices, 1865, number 220
Copyright: Public Domain
Notes: One af­ter­noon in Ju­ly, 1864, when I was pas­tor at Han­son Place Bap­tist Church, Brook­lyn, the wea­ther was op­press­ive­ly hot, and I was ly­ing on a lounge in a state of phys­ic­al ex­haust­ion…My imag­in­a­tion be­gan to take it­self wings. Vi­sions of the fu­ture passed be­fore me with start­ling vi­vid­ness. The im­ag­ery of the apoc­a­lypse took the form of a ta­bleau. Bright­est of all were the throne, the heav­en­ly ri­ver, and the ga­ther­ing of the saints…I be­gan to won­der why the hymn writ­ers had said so much about the "riv­er of death" and so lit­tle about the "pure wa­ter of life, clear as crys­tal, pro­ceed­ing out of the throne of God and the Lamb." As I mused, the words be­gan to con­struct them­selves. They came first as a quest­ion of Chris­tian in­quiry, "Shall we ga­ther?" Then they broke in chor­us, "Yes, we’ll ga­ther." On this quest­ion and an­swer the hymn de­vel­oped it­self. The mu­sic came with the hymn. Part of this song was sung in the Acad­e­my Award win­ning mo­vie, Trip to Boun­ti­ful (1985). It was al­so sung at the fun­er­al of Amer­i­can Su­preme Court Jus­tice Will­iam O. Doug­las.
Tune Information
Name: [Shall we gather at the river]
Composer: Robert Lowry (1864)
Incipit: 33323 45344 45432
Key: D Major
Source: First published in Happy Voices, 1865, number 220
Copyright: Public Domain



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