Apr 30, 2011

How Great Thou Art



I'm not a country music fan at all, but this Carrie Underwood with Vince Gill - How Great thou Art video is pretty damn slick. One of my grandma's favorite songs was "How Great Thou Art" and I'm sure she would have liked this version of it. I am also fairly certain that she would have been disgusted by the multiple shots of an obese Wynonna Judd nodding in approval of the awesomeness of Carrie Underwood's pipes.


In case you ever wondered what was great about thou art, or even what the hell thou art is, here is an explanation:

"How Great Thou Art" is a Christian hymn based on a Swedish poem written by Carl Gustav Boberg (1859–1940) in Sweden in 1885. The melody is a Swedish folk song. It was translated into English by British missionary Stuart K. Hine, who also added two original verses of his own composition. It was popularized by George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows during the Billy Graham crusades.[1] It was voted the United Kingdom's favourite hymn by BBC's Songs of Praise.[2] "How Great Thou Art" was ranked second (after "Amazing Grace") on a list of the favorite hymns of all time in a survey by Today's Christian magazine in 2001.

The inspiration for the poem came when Boberg was walking home from church near Kronobäck, Sweden, and listening to church bells. A sudden awe-inspiring storm gripped Boberg’s attention, and then just as suddenly as it had made its violent entrance, it subsided to a peaceful calm which Boberg observed over Mönsterås Bay.[6] According to J. Irving Erickson:
Carl Boberg and some friends were returning home to Mönsterås from Kronobäck, where they had participated in an afternoon service. Nature was at its peak that radiant afternoon. Presently a thundercloud appeared on the horizon, and soon sharp lightning flashed across the sky. Strong winds swept over the meadows and billowing fields of grain. The thunder pealed in loud claps. Then rain came in cool fresh showers. In a little while the storm was over, and a rainbow appeared.

When Boberg arrived home, he opened the window and saw the bay of Mönsterås like a mirror before him… From the woods on the other side of the bay, he heard the song of a thrush…the church bells were tolling in the quiet evening. It was this series of sights, sounds, and experiences that inspired the writing of the song.[7]
According to Boberg's great-nephew, Bud Boberg, "My dad's story of its origin was that it was a paraphrase of Psalm 8 and was used in the 'underground church' in Sweden in the late 1800s when the Baptists and Mission Friends were persecuted."[8] The author, Carl Boberg himself gave the following information about the inspiration behind his poem:
"It was that time of year when everything seemed to be in its richest colouring; the birds were singing in trees and everywhere. It was very warm; a thunderstorm appeared on the horizon and soon thunder and lightning. We had to hurry to shelter. But the storm was soon over and the clear sky appeared.

"When I came home I opened my window toward the sea. There evidently had been a funeral and the bells were playing the tune of 'When eternity's clock calling my saved soul to its Sabbath rest.' That evening, I wrote the song, 'O Store Gud.'" (source).