1 I love to tell the story of unseen things above:
of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and his love.
I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true.
It satisfies my longings as nothing else could do.
I love to tell the story,
’twill be my theme in glory,
to tell the old, old story
of Jesus and his love.
2 I love to tell the story. ’Tis pleasant to repeat
what seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story, for some have never heard
the message of salvation from God’s own holy word. [Refrain]
3 I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
seem hungering and thirsting to hear it, like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song,
’twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long. [Refrain]
Source: Voices Together #761
|First Line:||I love to tell the story Of unseen things above|
|Title:||I Love to Tell the Story|
|Author:||Kate Hankey (1866)|
|Author (refrain):||William G. Fischer (1869)|
|Meter:||184.108.40.206 D with refrain|
|Refrain First Line:||I love to tell the story|
|Article:||Article -"I Love to Tell the Story!" by Mary Kay Beall (from The Hymn)|
all st. = Ps. 66: 16, John 15:27
"I Love to Tell the Story" is one of two hymn texts derived from a long poem on the life of Christ written by A. (Annabelle) Catherine Hankey (b. Clapham, England, 1834; d. Westminster, London, England, 1911) in 1866. Hankey wrote the poem during a long period of convalescence following a serious illness. The first part of the poem, 'The Story Wanted," is the source of the children's gospel song "Tell Me the Old, Old Story," while the second part, "The Story Told," contains this text. Beginning in 1866 different versions of the full poem were printed in various publications. This hymn text, with the tune HANKEY and a refrain written by William G. Fischer, were published in Joyful Songs (1869).
Apart from the context of the larger poem, some of the couplets of this text appear rather shallow or repetitious; thus the Psalter Hymnal includes only the original stanzas 1, 3, and 4. But the entire original poem provides a fine autobiographical testimony to Hankey's evangelical fervor, which she expressed in her writings and in her support of foreign and home missions (she taught church school classes to the rich and poor of London). The text simply affirms the Christian's zeal to "tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love" to the unsaved as well as to the saved, here on earth and in glory.
Hankey was the daughter of a wealthy banker and was associated with the Clapham sect of William Wilberforce, a group of prominent evangelical Anglicans from the Clapham area. This group helped to establish the British and Foreign Bible Society, promoted the … abolition of slavery, and was involved in improving the lot of England's working classes. Hankey taught Bible classes for shop girls in London, visited the sick in local hospitals, and used the proceeds of her writings to support various mission causes. Her publications include Heart to Heart (1870) and The Old, Old Story and Other Verses (1879).
Worship that expresses missionary fervor; children's church school classes.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook
Katherine Hankey is the author of this text. While recovering from a serious illness in 1866, she wrote a very long poem about the story of Christ in multiple parts, which was published in different versions. The text of this hymn was most likely taken from the second part of the poem called “The Story Told,” even though the hymn does not tell the story at all, but refers to the great joy the story has given.
The themes of this text are the personal value of the story of redemption to a particular Christian, and the importance of telling that story to others. The hymn has four stanzas, but the second is often omitted (the second line is “More wonderful it seems”).
The tune HANKEY was written for this text and named after the author. Katherine Hankey wrote a tune for her hymn, as did William H. Doane, a well-known gospel musician, but neither one became popular. William G. Fischer wrote the tune HANKEY and the words to the refrain, and this was published in 1869 in Joyful Songs, Nos. 1 to 3. Two publications in 1874 and 1875 by Phillip P. Bliss included this hymn, and it was used in crusades by Ira Sankey and Dwight L. Moody, which helped it become the popular hymn it is today.
This hymn is suitable for services with a missionary theme. It could be sung with another text on a similar theme, such as “We've a Story to Tell to the Nations” or “O Zion, Haste!” “Tell the Good News” is a medley of “O Zion, Haste!” and “I Love to Tell the Story” for handbells and handchimes. Other options for special music include the gospel style piano solo in “Gospel Greats,” and a choral setting of “I Love to Tell the Story,” where the melody is traded between the women and men within an overall simple texture. For congregational accompaniment, “Five Hymn Accompaniments for Brass Quartet and Organ, Set 1” contains two settings of HANKEY.
Tiffany Shomsky, Hymnary.org