Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Eleven Hymns of the Church with Lyrics set to the Tune of "Danny Boy" or "Londonderry Air"

I like to hear new or different words sung to an old tunes. One of my favorites is "Amazing Grace" sung to the tune of the House of the Rising Song. Did you know that the "Barney Song" is "This Old Man" albeit sung at a different tempo? 
To celebrate Saint Patrick's Day 2013, I've been singing nine hymns with their lyrics set to the great old Irish tune "Londonderry Air", perhaps better known as "Danny Boy", the ballad penned by Frederic Weatherly in 1910.

"I Cannot Tell"

Lyrics by William Young Fullerton
March 8,1857-August 17, 1932

I cannot tell why He, whom angels worship,
Should set His love upon the sons of men,
Or why, as Shepherd, He should seek the wand'rers,
To bring them back, they know not how or when.
But this I know, that He was born of Mary,
When Bethl'hem's manger was His only home,
And that He lived at Nazareth and labored,
And so the Savior, Savior of the world, is come.

I cannot tell how silently He suffered
As with His peace He graced this place of tears,
Or how His heart upon the Cross was broken,
The crown of pain to three and thirty years.
But this I know, He heals the broken-hearted,
And stays our sin, and calms our lurking fear,
And lifts the burden from the heavy laden,
For yet the Savior, Savior of the world, is here.

I cannot tell how He will win the nations,
How He will claim His earthly heritage,
How satisfy the needs and aspirations
Of east and west, of sinner and of sage.
But this I know, all flesh shall see His glory,
And He shall reap the harvest He has sown,
And some glad day His sun shall shine in splendor
When He the Savior, Savior of the world, is known.

I cannot tell how all the lands shall worship,
When, at His bidding, every storm is stilled,
Or who can say how great the jubilation
When all the hearts of men with love are filled.
But this I know, the skies will thrill with rapture,
And myriad, myriad human voices sing,
And earth to heaven, and heaven to earth, will answer:
At last the Savior, Savior of the world, is King.

"He Looked Beyond My Fault and Saw My Need"

Dottie Rambo
March 2, 1934-May 11, 2008

One of the Dottie Rambo's most popular songs of the 2500 plus songs she wrote. "He Looked Beyond My Fault and Saw My Need", was inspired by her dying brother's acceptance of Christ.

Amazing Grace, shall always be my song of praise.
For it was grace that brought me liberty,
I do not know, just why He came to love me so.
He looked beyond my fault and saw my need.

I shall forever lift mine eyes to Calvary,
To view the cross, where Jesus died for me
How marvelous, His grace that caught my falling soul
He Looked beyond my fault and saw my need.

"What Grace is Mine"

by Kristyn Getty--arranged by Rob Mathes

Kristyn Getty was born in Belfast, Ireland on May 22, 1960. 

What grace is mine that He who dwells in endless light
Called through the night to find my distant soul
And from his scars poured mercy that would plead for me
That I might live and in his name be known

So I will go wherever He is calling me
I lose my life to find my life in Him
I give my all to gain the hope that never dies
I bow my heart, take up my cross and follow Him

What grace is mine to know His breath alive in me
Beneath his wings my wakened soul may soar
All fear can flee for death's dark night is overcome
My Saviour lives and reigns forevermore

So I will go…

"Lord of the Church, We Pray for our Renewing"

Timothy Dudley-Smith
December 26, 1926-December 14, 2007

1 Lord of the church, we pray for our renewing:
Christ over all, our undivided aim.
Fire of the Spirit, burn for our enduing,
wind of the Spirit, fan the living flame!
We turn to Christ amid our fear and failing,
the will that lacks the courage to be free,
the weary labours, all but unavailing,
to bring us nearer what a church should be.

2 Lord of the church, we seek a Father's blessing,
a true repentance and a faith restored,
a swift obedience and a new possessing,
filled with the Holy Spirit of the Lord!
We turn to Christ from all our restless striving,
unnumbered voices with a single prayer:
the living water for our souls' reviving,
in Christ to live, and love and serve and care.

3 Lord of the church, we long for our uniting,
true to one calling, by one vision stirred;
one cross proclaiming and one creed reciting,
one in the truth of Jesus and his word!
So lead us on; till toil and trouble ended,
one church triumphant one new song shall sing,
to praise his glory, risen and ascended,
Christ over all, the everlasting King!

"Above the Hills of Time the Cross Is Gleaming"

Words by Thomas Tiplady
January 1, 1882-January 7, 1967

Above the hills of time the cross is gleaming,
Fair as the sun when night has turned to day;
And from it love’s pure light is richly streaming,
To cleanse the heart and banish sin away.
To this dear cross the eyes of men are turning,
Today as in the ages lost to sight;
And for Thee, O Christ, men’s hearts are yearning,
As shipwrecked seamen yearn for morning light.
The cross, O Christ, Thy wondrous love revealing,
Awakes our hearts as with the light of morn,
And pardon o’er our sinful spirits stealing,
Tells us that we, in Thee, have been reborn.
Like echoes to sweet temple bells replying
Our hearts, O Lord, make answer to Thy love;
And we will love Thee with a love undying,
Till we are gathered to Thy home above.

Also, "I Love Thee So",  "My Own Dear Land" and "We Shall Go Out With Hope of Resurrection".

Recently, I noticed that two videos had posted on Youtube using the tune of Danny Boy with words familiar to most of us, "Amazing Grace" and the 23rd "Psalm". Psalm is written and performed by DeDe (Deborah Wedekind. 


Enjoy, Enjoy!


  1. The first time I heard 'Danny Boy' I was at boarding school aged 13. I immediately sensed that there ought to be a hymn with the same melody. Imagine my joy when I heard 'I cannot tell why He Whom angels worship' and several years later, 'He looked beyond my fault and saw my need'. Thank You Father for loving us so much You sent us Jesus!

  2. Another hymn to this tune is "Creation Sings." Blessings to all!

  3. I am looking for patriotic hymn lyrics set to Londonderry Air which speak to Americans' love for their country but also similar feelings of others in other lands. We used to sing it in church but I've lost they tics. If anyone knows the song I'm referring to please reply to:

  4. I am looking for a hymn that starts "He Chose The Cross" and is sung to the tune of Danny Boy. The song ends with "For the love of all mankind, the Saviour chose the cross"
    Any help please

  5. You may be thinking of "O Christ the Same" sung to the Finlandia tune with lyrics by Lloyd Stone and Georgia Harkness