August 24

“How Great Thou Art:” A Soulful Rendition by Dolly Parton

"How Great Thou Art:" A Soulful Rendition by Dolly Parton 1
Dolly Parton | Photo Credits:

Y’all know that “How Great Thou Art” is one of the most sung, recorded and translated classic gospel hymns. In fact, it has already become a standard for Christian hymns of praises sung in churches and places of worship. The country music community is one of the most famous producers of covers of this classic tune. Most notably, country artists such as the likes of Charlie Daniels, Tammy Wynette, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Alan Jackson, Elvis Presley, and Martina McBride among others have already rendered their versions. However, one of the most soulful and sweetly sung version is Dolly Parton’s.

Parton’s Rendition of a Classic Hymn

"How Great Thou Art:" A Soulful Rendition by Dolly Parton 2
Dolly Parton with the little boys singing “How Great Thou Art” | Photo screen grabbed on Youtube

Dolly Parton covered “How Great Thou Art” in 1970 for her live album, A Real live Dolly, and in 1971 for her studio album, Golden Streets of Glory. In one of her live performances of the song in 1970, Parton was joined by a group of young boys. Singing in a choir-like theme, they harmonize with the already beautiful vocals of the songstress. The blending of their voices exudes the beauty felt in the song, much more, it accentuates the soul hidden behind every lyric. Overall, Parton and the boys will draw us to God and make us praise Him with this art transformed into a song.

WATCH Dolly Parton and the boys as they praise the Lord with the classic hymn “How Great Thou Art:”

This gospel classic hymn, “How Great Thou Art“, dates back to the 19th century. Based on a Swedish poem, How Great Thou Art” gets its inspiration from an account in the Bible (Deuteronomy 33:26). Carl Boberg (1859-1940), a Swedish poet, wrote the poem. It was later translated into German and Russian before being adopted as a hymn. An English missionary named  Stuart K. Hine was the one who translated the hymn into English. Moreover, he added two verses of his own. Nonetheless, the hymn still followed the original Russian melody.

Furthermore, “How Great Thou Art” became an all-time favorite gospel song. Its popularity peaked in the 1940s during the Billy Graham crusades when gospel singers George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrow use to sing it in their campaigns.

Meanwhile, the hymn was considered as the United Kingdom’s favorite hymn as voted by BBC’s Songs of Praise. To note, “How Great Thou Art” was the second most favorite hymn behind “Amazing Grace“. This was based on a release of Christian Today Magazine on its list of Most Favorite Hymns of All Time in 2001.

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Dolly Parton, how great thou art

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