Posted by: David Harley | November 9, 2013

How can I keep from singing

Ironically enough, given its title, an instrumental version of a 19th century hymn. I’ve been playing it a lot since I started playing serious slide guitar again. When I play it live, I sometimes go into ‘Twelve Gates to the City’, but more often I go into something far less spiritual. :) I should probably spend some more time on the recording – there’s more extraneous noise on this version than I like – but it’s going in the right direction.

Mastered:

Backup:

The hymn has its own Wikipedia page, including the first published lyrics and the verse added by Doris Plenn and sung by Pete Seeger. In fact, I first heard it on Seeger’s I Can See a New Day album, a compilation of live recordings released in 1964. The music is credited to Robert Lowrey, as published in his ‘Bright Jewels for the Sunday School’, published in 1869, but the source of the original lyrics is uncertain. The lyrics (apart from Plenn’s) included in the Wikipedia page are apparently as published in the New York Observer in 1868 under the title Always Rejoicing and attributed to ‘Pauline T.’

Earlier versions:

And another

David Harley


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