[I love to tell the story] (Fischer)

Composer: W. G. Fischer

William Gustavus Fischer (1835-1912) Born: Oc­to­ber 14, 1835, Bal­ti­more, Mary­land. Died: Au­gust 13, 1912, Phil­a­del­phia, Penn­syl­van­ia. Son of a German im­mi­grant, Fischer showed mu­sic­al abil­i­ty at an ear­ly age. When he was eight years old, he be­gan sing­ing in a Ger­man church in Bal­t­imore. He learned to read mu­sic in a church sing­ing class, and af­ter­wards stu­died pi­ano and or­gan. He learned book­bind­ing at J. B. Lip­pin­cott’s in Phil­a­delphia, Penn­syl­van­ia, but spent his even­ings stu­dy­ing and prac­tic­ing mu­sic. He was an ex­per­i­enced train­er and lead­er of large bo­dies of sing­ers of all ages, and was much sought af­ter to lead choirs an… Go to person page >

Tune Information

Composer: W. G. Fischer (1869)
Meter: D with refrain
Incipit: 51551 32111 62
Key: A♭ Major
Copyright: Public Domain


HANKEY has many characteristics of a gospel song: stepwise melodic motion, verse refrain form, and simple harmony. After hearing both hymn texts from Hankey's poems quoted by one of the speakers at an 1867 YMCA convention in Montreal, Quebec, gospel hymn writer William H. Doane (PHH 473) was inspired to set both texts to music. However, Doane's tune for "I Love to Tell the Story" was soon replaced by the tune HANKEY by William G. Fischer, who also added a refrain to the original text. The tune set to Hankey's text was published in Joyful Songs (1869) and in many gospel hymnals. The hymn was popularized through its use in the Ira D. Sankey (PHH 73) and Dwight L. Moody crusades. In his youth, Fischer (b. Baltimore, MD, 1835; d. Philadelphia, PA, 1912) developed an interest in music while attending singing schools. His career included working in the book bindery of J. B. Lippencott Publishing Company, teaching music at Girard College, and co-owning a piano business and music store–all in Philadelphia. Fischer eventually became a popular director of music at revival meetings and choral festivals. In 1876 he conducted a thousand-voice choir at the Dwight L. Moody/Ira D. Sankey revival meeting in Philadelphia. Fischer composed some two hundred tunes for Sunday school hymns and gospel songs. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988


Baptist Hymnal 1991 #572
Text: I Love to Tell the Story
  • Full Score (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #461
  • Four-part harmony, full-score (PDF, NWC)
The Cyber Hymnal #2914
Text: I Love to Tell the Story
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #530
Text: I Love to Tell the Story
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
  • Full Score (PDF, XML)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
The United Methodist Hymnal #156
Text: I Love to Tell the Story
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Full Score (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
Worship and Rejoice #560
Text: I Love to Tell the Story


Instances (1 - 44 of 44)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
African American Heritage Hymnal #513TextPage Scan
Ambassador Hymnal: for Lutheran worship #304
Baptist Hymnal 1991 #572TextAudioPage Scan
Baptist Hymnal 2008 #626TextFlexscorePage Scan
Celebrating Grace Hymnal #581TextPage Scan
Chalice Hymnal #480TextPage Scan
Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #461Tune InfoScoreAudio
Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #562TextPage Scan
Evangelical Lutheran Worship #661Text
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #462Text InfoTextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan
Hymnal: A Worship Book #398
Hymns for a Pilgrim People: a congregational hymnal #463Text
Hymns of Faith #190TextPage Scan
Hymns of Promise: a large print songbook #104TextPage Scan
Hymns of the Saints: Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints #473
Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #501Text
Lift Every Voice and Sing II: an African American hymnal #64Text
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #262TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan
Mil Voces para Celebrar: Himnario Metodista #56
Moravian Book of Worship #625TextPage Scan
Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #516Page Scan
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #530Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudioPage Scan
Rejoice Hymns #650
Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #457
Sheng tu shi ge = Hymnary (聖徒詩歌) #593
Sing Joyfully #322TextPage Scan
Sing With Me #240Text
Small Church Music #137Audio
Soul-stirring Songs & Hymns (Rev. ed.) #228
The Celebration Hymnal: songs and hymns for worship #444Text
The Covenant Hymnal: a worshipbook #681
The Cyber Hymnal #2914TextScoreAudio
The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #297Text
The New Century Hymnal #522Text
The New National Baptist Hymnal #407
The United Methodist Hymnal #156TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan
The Worshiping Church #498TextFlexscorePage Scan
This Far By Faith: an African American resource for worship #228
Timeless Truths #743TextAudio
Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #478TextFlexscorePage Scan
Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of The United Church of Canada #343TextPage Scan
Worship and Rejoice #560TextScoreAudioPage Scan
Worship in Song: A Friends Hymnal #99TextAudio
生命聖詩 - Hymns of Life, 1986 #263Text
Include 199 pre-1979 instances
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