How Great Thou Art

This hymn praising God's greatness is based on a Swedish poem, "O Store Gud", which was written by Swedish preacher Carl Boberg (1859–1940), apparently as a paraphrase of Psalm 8.  It was first published in the Mönsterås Tidningen (Mönsterås News) in 1886. It was paired with a traditional Swedish folk-tune, sung in Swedish churches from 1888 and published as a hymn in 1890.

O Store Gud was translated from Swedish to German by Baptist nobleman, Manfred von Glehn (1867-1924), and in German is known as "Wie groß bist Du".

The German hymn was translated to Russian as "Velikiy Bog" (Великий Бог - Great God) in 1912 by Protestant hymn-writer and translator Ivan S. Prokhanov (1869–1935).

British Methodist-but-Baptist-influenced missionary Stuart Wesley Keene Hine (1899-1989) paraphrased parts of the Russian the hymn and wrote additional verses to make "How Great Thou Art" - with roughly the lyrics that are in common use today.

Various other English translations have been made, but none have seen the world-wide and cross-denominational use that Hine's version has.

With meter with refrain, the tune that the hymn is almost-always set to is known as O STORE GUD or HOW GREAT THOU ART. This was originally triple-meter, but was adapted to 4/4 time to match the hymn.   This 4/4 version was first published in 1894, and so is now in the public domain.



Professional recording, gentle rendition from a solo singer with backing vocals, piano accompaniment:

Massed choir with organ:

Contemporary-Christian-music style, with praise band:

Congregation, unaccompanied:

Instrumental - piano accordion:

Quartet, close harmony, piano accompaniment:


The lyrics are copyright. But they are currently available on Wikipedia. A rough outline is:
O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hand hath made.
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!

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