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How Great Thou Art

Elvis Presley Lyrics Words & Music by Stuart KHine Elvis Presley Lyrics

The first line of the record is sung without accompaniment, punctuated at the end by two beats, two chords on the piano. Exquisite. And this pattern is repeated through the verse, a cappella singing, piano crash, more a cappella singing; and then Elvis sings the chorus backed only by the beautiful, lonesome sound of a walking electric bass. The risk - only a great voice can hang out there that naked - is impressive and the payoff is phenomenal. None of which would matter, I suppose, if it weren't that the voice that this perfect and daring bit of accompaniment supports is nothing short of awesome; spirit is walking throughout this recording, just put it on the phonograph, and the room fills with ozone. Darkness and gloom drip joyfully from every rafter.

This Heartbreak Hotel voice is an instant old friend; it intimately and unforgettably announces the arrival of something big. [Paul Williams, writing about Elvis' Heartbreak Hotel, which ranked in fourth place in Crawdaddy Magazine's list of 'The 100 best singles of all Time'.]

A double voice that alternates between a high quaver, reminiscent of Johnnie Ray at his fiercest, and a rich basso that might be smooth if it were not for its spasmodic delivery. Heartbreak Hotel, yelps the high voice, is where he's going to get away from it all. Answers the basso: 'he'll be sorry'. [TIME magazine's review, of the then recently-issed single, Heartbreak Hotel, (1956), as published in its April 02, 1956 issue.]

1. O LORD my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hand hath made;
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy pow’r throughout the universe displayed:

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

2. When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook, and feel the gentle breeze:

3. And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die - I scarce can take it in:
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:

4. When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home - what joy shall fill my heart!
Then shall I bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, my God how great Thou art!

Copyright © 1953 The Stuart Hine Trust/All rights worldwide adm. by
Kingsway Communications Ltd. Email tym@kingsway.co.uk (except USA admin. by
EMI CMG Publishing and print rights adm. by Hope Publishing Company.
All other rights in North, Central & S.America adm by Manna Music Inc)
New page link www.kingsway.co.uk

Recorded: 1966/05/25, first released on How Great Thou Art

How Great Thou Art Sessions
How Great Thou Art LP 1966

How Great Thou Art Sessions

May 25, 1966 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee

Run On TPA4 0908-07
How Great Thou Art TPA4 0909-04

May 26, 1966 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee

Stand By Me TPA4 0910-11
Where No One Stands Alone ____-04
Down In The Alley TPA4 0912-09
Tomorrow Is A Long Time TPA4 0913-03
Love Letters TPA4 0914-09

May 27, 1966 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee

So High TPA4 0915-04
Farther Along TPA4 0916-03
By And By TPA4 0917-10
In The Garden TPA4 0918-03
Beyond The Reef TPA4 0919-02
Somebody Bigger Than You And I ____-16
Without Him TPA4 0921-12

May 28, 1966 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee

If The Lord Wasn't Walking By My Side TPA4 0922-05
Where Could I Go But To The Lord? TPA4 0923-02
Come What May TPA4 0924-08
Fools Fall In Love TPA4 0925-05

June 10, 1966 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee

Indescribably Blue (Track) ____-NA
I'll Remember You (Track) ____-NA
If Every Day Was Like Christmas(Track) ____-NA

June 12, 1966 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee

Indescribably Blue (Vocal Overdub) TPA4 0982-02
I'll Remember You (Vocal Overdub) TPA4 0983-SP
If Every Day Was Like Christmas(Vocal Overdub) MWA5 9102-02

June 14, 1966 MGM Sound Stage - Hollywood, California

All That I Am (Overdub) ____-NA

June 28, 1966 Radio Recorders - Hollywood, California

City By Night (Track) ____-03
Could I Fall In Love ____-06
There Is So Much World To See (Alternate Master) HRA1 8688-10
There Is So Much World To See (Remake) ____-01
Long Legged Girl (Alternate Master) HRA1 8673-06

June 29, 1966 MGM Sound Stage - Hollywood, California

Double Trouble ____-04
Baby If You'll Give Me All Of Your Love ____-05
I Love Only One Girl UPA3 3940-02
It Won't Be Long UPA3 3942-NA
Old MacDonald ____-07
Long Legged Girl (Remake) UPA3 3937-05
Double Trouble (Ending) ____-NA
Double Trouble (Composite) UPA3 3934-SP

June 30, 1966 MGM Sound Stage - Hollywood, California

City By Night (Vocal Overdub) ____-05
Could I Fall In Love (Harmony Vocal Overdub) UPA3 3936-05
Old MacDonald (Vocal Repairs) UPA3 3939-02

July 14, 1966 MGM Sound Stage - Hollywood, California

Baby If You'll Give Me All Of Your Love (Overdub) UPA3 3935-NA
City By Night (Overdub) UPA3 3938-03

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