Carrie Underwood And Vince Gill-How Great thou Art, With Story Of Hymn History

By James Lam On December 7, 2013

Here's an amazing rendition of How Great Thou Art, sung by Carrie Underwood with Vince Gill on guitar in the "2011 ACM Girls Night Out: Superstar Women of Country" concert. Close to the end of the piece you can see some audience with tears in their eyes along with Carrie. 

When we realize and begin to put our focus back on just how great God is, we can't help but cry and praise Him.  

More About the hymn

"How Great Thou Art" is a top sacred hymn of praise among God's people. The words (lyrics) translation to English was written by Stuart K. Hine (1899-1989) and also the music tune arrangement, with Manna Music of Swedish text.

The tune is "Sanningsvittnet" (Swedish traditional), O store Gud (How Great Thou Art.) The text was based on the Bible scripture Psalm 145:3 "Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom."

The hymn's popularity is due to its wide use by favorite gospel singers Cliff Barrows and George Beverly Shea of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Team. "How Great Thou Art," with the first moving line "O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder," the hymn was first introduced to American audiences when James Caldwell sang it at Stoney Brook Bible Conference in Long Island, 1951.

Original Swedish text "O Store Gud" by Carl Boberg

The original Swedish text was a poem entitled "O Store Gud," written in 1886 by a Swedish preacher Carl Boberg, a successful editor of the periodicalSanningsvittnet. Boberg's inspiration for "How Great Thou Art" came from a visit to a beautiful country estate on the southeast coast of Sweden. He got caught in a midday thunderstorm with awe-inspiring moments of flashing violence, followed by a clear brilliant sun. Soon afterwards he heard the calm, sweet songs of the birds in nearby trees.

The experience prompted Boberg to "fall to his knees in humble adoration of his mighty God." A nine-stanza poem beginning with the Swedish words "O Store Gud, nar jag den varld beskader" captured his exaltation of how great God is.

Years later, while attending a gathering in the Province of Varmländ, Boberg was surprised to hear the congregation sing his poem to the tune of an old Swedish melody.

English Translator Stuart Hine and the Hymn Inspiration

The English translator Stuart Hine, with his wife, was a missionary in Poland and Czechoslovakia. The thought of writing the original English lyrics of "How Great Thou Art" did not happen to the Hines then and there – it waited until their crossing into the Carpathian Mountains of Russia, where the scenery greatly played its part.

One day, the couple was caught in a violent storm. The thoughts of the first three verses in English were conceived, amid breathtaking and awesome experiences, worthy of the lyrics "Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee."

When World War II broke out in 1939, Hine and his wife returned to Britain and settled in Somerset. They published hymns and evangelical literature in various languages. The fourth verse came after the war. With his original English lyrics and arrangement of the Swedish folk melody, Stuart K. Hine published this well-loved hymn full of meaningful words on God's greatness - "How Great Thou Art."

"How Great Thou Art" Refrain (Chorus)

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee

How great Thou art, How great Thou art.

Then sings my soul, My Savior God to Thee.

How great thou art, How great Thou art!

(source about the hymn: a story teller on suite101)

Carrie Underwood,
How Great Thou Art,
Carl Boberg