How Can I Keep From Singing?


Music by Robert Lowry
Words for verses 1 and 3 by Robert Lowry
Words for verse 2 by Doris Plenn (c. 1950)
SATB or SSAA, a cappella
Published by Fresh Ayre Music

This song was arranged collectively by the a cappella group Dare To Breathe in a style inspired by the “shape note” or “Sacred Harp” tradition. This influence shows itself in several specific ways: the placing of the melody in the tenor voice, the tendency toward open fifth sonorities, and the practice of doubling all parts but the bass at the octave.

Perusal Score (click to view)

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1. My life flows on in endless song;
above earth’s lamentation,
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
that hails a new creation.

No storm can shake my inmost calm
while to that Rock I’m clinging.
Since love is Lord of heaven and earth,
how can I keep from singing?

2. When tyrants tremble as they hear
the bells of freedom ringing;
when friends rejoice both far and near,
how can I keep from singing?

In prison cell and dungeon vile,
Our thoughts to them are winging.
When friends by shame are undefiled,
how can I keep from singing?

3. What though the tempest loudly roars,
I hear the truth, it liveth;
what though the darkness round me close,
songs in the night it giveth.

Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear that music ringing,
it sounds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?


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