Finding Joy in an Old Hymn

Winter days with blue skies

It’s still winter time in middle Tennessee on a rare day of blue skies!

Reading a decorator’s blog I stumbled on the idea of remembering favorite hymns. This is one of my favorites for the melody and meaning, but also because Kelly B. Doyle added this to our choral performances when I attended Freed-Hardeman. He often pulled out old hymns and taught us to appreciate them more deeply.

And that memory, my friends, was only 49 years ago! Whoa! I had no idea how long it’s been.OthouFount

There are several versions of this song, but this version in an old hymn book is how I sang it in small rural churches in north Alabama.

You may not be familiar with the shape notes in this hymn book. We learned to sing a cappella four part harmony by knowing which note was “do, re, or mi” by its shape (even before Maria sang “Do, a deer, a female deer”  in The Sound of Music). You can still find Sacred Harp or Shape Note Singing groups, mostly in the rural South. There are even groups on Youtube.

I’ve framed some of the lines of the songs and printed them out. Check my Pinterest page to see how I’m using them.OThou.1OThouFount.2

This old song written in 1758 is filled with the beautiful language of English poets, but until I sang it in the shower this week, I realized I never appreciated its meaning.

A metaphorThou fountainof every blessing

His love is like a fountain, constantly pouring out blessings in my life.

Tunes my heart  (prepares my heart) to sing about God’s boundless grace.

Mercy comes from our Father like never ending streams of water.

His mercy and blessings naturally lead me to loudly sing His praise.

This song can stick in your head all day—listen to it here on YouTube. In this version the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing several parts in their purest a cappella. You’ll notice the difference in the words. I dare you not to be touched in your soul by this music! framedLord

I thank God for

  • our heritage of hymns and psalms.
  • His mercies that never cease.
  • the fountain of blessings in our lives.




4 thoughts on “Finding Joy in an Old Hymn

  1. dmjlollar05

    I love that song. Drew recently told me about a Fa So La singing congregation in his hometown of Fayette, AL. I’d love to go hear them sometime.

  2. Emalie

    One of our favorite hymns, and our youth group lives it, too. Especially a Capella. Don’t you love the alto? “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.”


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