In my last post, I wrote about some of the ways our family instills a love for traditional hymns in our children. Today I would like to share a particular series of books that our family has really enjoyed!
We have such a rich heritage of hymns! The words are beautiful and the meaning can be so deep! I have often wondered about the stories behind the hymns. Who were these people whose names appeared in tiny print at the top of the hymnal page? What inspired them to write these songs? I know who inspired them (God!), but what circumstances were they facing?
Then, a few years ago I found a resource that answers all these questions! Robert J. Morgan wrote two books called Then Sings My Soul and Then Sings My Soul Book 2. Each book contains the hymnal music for 150 popular hymns and a 1-page summary of the story behind the hymn. For a few years now we’ve been using these books in our family to read about how God worked in the lives of Ira Sankey, Fanny Crosby, Frances Havergal and many others! They have been wonderful read-aloud books for our family and reading the story behind the hymns really motivates us to learn the hymns themselves!
You know how sometimes, when an author writes a book and then follows it up with a sequel, the sequel isn’t very good? Well that is definitely NOT the case here! Last month the third book in this series was published and it is as wonderful as the first two editions! Different, but still wonderful!
Instead of being simply a compilation (like his other two books and the hymn-story devotional he wrote are), Then Sings My Soul Book 3 is a journey through the history of Christian music. In Part 1, Morgan begins by writing about the hymns we find sung in the Bible and then works his way through Ancient hymns, Medieval Hymns, German Hymns, English Hymns and then Gospel Songs and Contemporary Praise. All that is only 50 pages long… just long enough to be interesting to the average reader without being long-winded. Although I feel compelled to say that when I read this book to my young children, I’ll probably skip this part. But then again, this really isn’t a book intended for 5 year olds, is it? Parts 2 & 3 will be most interesting to the children! Part 2 is a collection of hymns and hymn stories arranged in chronological order beginning in the year 100 AD and ending in 2001. (The vast majority of the hymns presented are from the 1700’s and onward. We are really looking forward to singing through the chronology of hymns that Morgan presents in this book!) Part 3 has longer, more detailed versions of six of Morgan’s favorite hymn stories. (We’ve already read a few of these as a family and they are great read-aloud selections!) Finally, he ends with a section about using hymns in our private and public worship to draw closer to God and gain spiritual strength.
All in all, this is a 5 star book! If you are at all interested in Christian music, these are books your library should not be without!
Disclaimer: This book was provided to me by the publisher free of charge in exchange for my honest review. Links in this post are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase one of the books mentioned here, I appreciate you using my links to do so! I get a small commission that allows me to keep on writing here! Thank you for your support!