How Can I Keep From Singing?

“How Can I Keep From Singing?” is, perhaps, the second most well-known gospel hymn tune by Robert Lowry (1826-1899) — the first being “Shall We Gather at the River?”

Born in Philadelphia, Lowry studied at Pennsylvania’s Lewisburg (today Bucknell) University; was ordained a Baptist minister in 1854; served in churches in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey; and later returned to Lewisburg and served as chancellor. Best remembered as a writer of more than 500 gospel songs and hymns, he edited numerous gospel song books and hymn books.

Like Horatio Spafford’s “It Is Well With My Soul,” the anonymously authored “How Can I Keep From Singing?” (also known as “Endless Song”) expresses confidence in the eternal promises of Christ in spite of temporal circumstances. Its first verse and refrain proclaim:

My life flows on in endless song above earth’s lamentation;
I catch the sweet though far-off hymn that hails a new creation.
(Refrain): No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that Rock I’m clinging;
since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?

Score, parts (Bb tpt. 1, Bb tpt. 2, F horn, tbn, tuba) — $12.99