Loretta Lynn’s “How Great Thou Art” is honestly one of the most timeless and mesmerizing renditions of the song that will take you to gospel music heaven. And despite not being released as a single, her cover garnered attention and deservingly so.
“How Great Thou Art” was originally a poem written in Swedish by Carl Boberg before it was turned into a Christian hymn in 1888 using the Swedish folk tune. And as the years passed by, the song has also been translated into different languages, including English – thanks to the efforts of English missionary Stuart K. Hine (who also added two original verses of his own) and professor E. Gustav Johnson. Then it was popularized by George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows during the Billy Graham crusades. Soon enough, the song became one of the favorite Christian hymns of all time, coming in at a close second with “Amazing Grace.”
In fact, it was so popular that there have been over 1,700 documented recordings of the song. That includes Elvis Presley’s rendition, which was the title track of his 1967 gospel LP titled How Great Thou Art, and Carrie Underwood’s version, which peaked after her live performance of the song on ACM Presents: Girls Nights Out show with Vince Gill and of course Loretta Lynn‘s.
The song was part of her fifth studio album, Hymns, which was released in 1965. The album peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and also received a great review from Billboard that said, “Loretta Lynn proves once again that whatever she does, she does to perfection, and that’s exactly what this glorious program of heartfelt performances contains.”
Listen to Loretta Lynn’s “How Great Thou Art” rendition in the video below.