Customer Reviews for

Then Sings My Soul

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  • Posted January 11, 2011

    Inspirational!

    Then Sings My Soul, Special Edition, by Robert J. Morgan is a book containing 150 Christian hymns and the stories behind the hymns. It is set up in sections including, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Patriotic, and Other Favorites. Each hymn is printed with words and music on the left-hand pages, and the corresponding stories and histories on the facing right-hand pages. The book has three indexes, one with the hymns listed by title; one listed by author; and one listed by the first line of the hymn, all making it easy to find a certain song or story.

    The physical structure of the book is quite unique. It is a "paper-back," but has the feel of a nice classic. It has flaps in the front and back of the book, and the page edges have been rough-cut, giving an antique feel to the book. Overall, it is a very beautiful book, and would make a nice gift.

    This book is great for short reads and references. This is the one you would take to the doctor's office or any place you have a wait time. It is easy to pick up, read a few pages, and put down again until next time. It would make a very nice gift for a church song leader or anyone who likes hymns and history.

    It was interesting to learn the different stories of faith and hardships that inspired many of the hymns. I learned that Silent Night was hurriedly written one Christmas Eve because a church organ was broken. The song was written to be sung without an organ, thus saving the 1818 Christmas Eve service at the Church of St. Nicholas in Oberndorf.

    The Little Brown Church in the Vale was written not about an existing church, but about a grove of trees along sloping hills flowing down to a river in the valley. This is the scene William Pitts saw in 1857 when his stage coach made a stop in Bradford, Iowa. He couldn't forget the peaceful picture, so he wrote a song about a little brown Church in the vale. He then filed it away with his papers. Later, he returned to Bradford and found that the Christians in the area had built a little brown church in the exact spot he had envisioned it in his song. Since the War Between the States was raging, and supplies were hard to come by, the members had painted the little church the cheapest color they could find, which happened to be brown. The church was dedicated in 1864, and Pitts sang his song in "the church in the valley by the wildwood."

    I enjoyed reading this book, and I will return to it for information and inspiration again and again. I received this book free from BookSneeze and agreed to write a review. I was not required to write a positive review. This review is my own personal opinion. I have written short reviews on my blog of several of the hymns found in this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2012

    Excellent book

    If you want to know the words to the hymns you grew up hearing, this is the book for you. I had bought a copy for my mother several years ago & she thoroughly enjoyed it. The book gives the background about either the hymn's author and/or the circumstances that caused the hymn to be written. My ministers have used these background stories during hymn sing services. It is an enjoyable book for those who love the old hymns.

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  • Posted February 7, 2011

    One of my favorite books. Must read!

    Then Sings My Soul Special Edition will be on the list of my favorite books for a long time to come. The author explored the stories behind some of the best loved hymns including that of Easter and Christmas. Reading through, it is amazing how regular people became composers and musicians through Divine Intervention.Some stories deeply moved me like the tragic yet inspiring story behind the song What A Fried We Have in Jesus.

    The book includes 150 hymns. After each, the story for the inspiration appears on the opposite page. Though there are plenty of songs that I am not familiar about, I had a lovely time learning about Good King Wenceslas and reading through There Shall Be Shower Of Blessings. The stories are short enough to hold your attention. Soon, you'll find humming the songs to yourself. And singing Go Tell It On The Mountain will reduce you to tears. I mean, you will all be singing these hymns in a different manner knowing the sad, glorious, triumphant, ironic stories behind them.

    Then Sings My Soul is a book that you would want to share with anybody, anytime of the year. It is on paperback with deckle edges which makes it more appealing as collectible. I am planning to buy for family and relatives as Easter gifts. I know that like me, they will treasure owning such a wonderful book that you can read again and again.

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  • Posted February 6, 2011

    BEAUTIFUL BOOK and an AWESOME READ!!!

    This book is a beautiful collectible for anyone. From it's gorgeous cover to the jagged edges of the paper inside. The antique appearance and beatifully scripted pages make it a keepsake for all.

    Each page presents a seperate hymn, followed by a brief one-page history and explanation for each. The thoughtful stories, describe everything from the happiness, the triump, to the pain of creating such lovely hymns. The words of the songs will not be the only thing that grabs hold of the heart The strong, inspiring stories give strength to the words of each one.

    The list of hymns is amazing in itself. All of the old favorites from the Old Rugged Cross to Silent Night are included in this gorgeous book. Several Sweet Southern Hymns are also included - being a Southern girl, I truly appreciate this aspect of the book. Every story will touch the heart in some way, leaving you wanting to learn more about the words of the hymns and the authors themselves.

    This book is highly recommend for every music lover, choir member and simply every Christian there is. Add Then Sings My Soul to your collection today!

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  • Posted January 22, 2011

    A definite must read!

    For those who enjoy traditional hymns, this is the book for you. inside are 320 pages containing the stories of the people who wrote these hymns. They recount how their own faith inspired them to write these seasonal hymns that are sung year after year in churches throughout the country. The book also relates stories of people, everyday people whose faith was subsequently affected by the reading, singing and/or hearing of these timeless spiritual hymns. The history behind 150 hymns from Christmas to Easter to seasonal are vividly retold and the stories are as inspiring as the hymns themselves. Each hymn gets two pages--one for the sheet music and the other for the hymn's background. Knowing the history and thought and faith behind the creation of each of the hymns resonates with the reader and enriches one's faith as well as provides ideas for personal reflection. A lot of little known facts emerge within the pages as well - did you know that - Handel wrote the Messiah in twenty-three days or that "Jesus Loves the Little Children" was written as a Civil War battle song? t is not a hymnal but a devotional reader in my opinion. Leaves you with a warm feeling inside and deeper spiritual connection. Highly recommended for individual readers, church groups or book clubs - would even go so far as to suggest that it could be used as a springboard for a church sermon - something different yet relevant to congregation members. A book I will return to time and time again.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

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  • Posted January 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This Will Change The Way You Sing Your Favorite Hymns

    Then Sings My Soul special edition
    By Robert J Morgan
    Because of my love for music I have often wondered about my favorite songs and what may have inspired the writing of them. I eagerly awaited the arrival of this book and I was not disappointed.
    In this book Robert J Morgan lists 150 all time favorite hymns including the lyrics, the score and most interestingly the story behind the song.
    Reading this book will change the way you sing your favorite hymns, and how you worship with them. Knowing the sometimes tragic circumstances will move you even closer to the one you are worshipping with the singing of them.
    One of my favorite old hymns is Beulah Land. Mr. Morgan tells of the writer, Edgar Stites being born in Cape May, New Jersey and he was a descendent of John Howland who came over on the Mayflower. He served in the Union forces and later became a Methodist Preacher. The song was written in 1876 and the writer spoke of how he could only get through a couple of verses at a time before being overcome with emotion and falling on his face.
    I am rating this book, 5 stars of 5. A lot of research has gone into compiling this book. Many of the songs included are very old and records long ago are not easy to find. The stories are interesting and moving. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the great old classic hymns.
    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 9, 2011

    Reading This Book Will Change The Way You Sing Your Favorite Hymn

    Then Sings My Soul special edition
    By Robert J Morgan

    Because of my love for music I have often wondered about my favorite songs and what may have inspired the writing of them. I eagerly awaited the arrival of this book and I was not disappointed.
    In this book Robert J Morgan lists 150 all time favorite hymns including the lyrics, the score and most interestingly the story behind the song.
    Reading this book will change the way you sing your favorite hymns, and how you worship with them. Knowing the sometimes tragic circumstances will move you even closer to the one you are worshipping with the singing of them.
    One of my favorite old hymns is Beulah Land. Mr. Morgan tells of the writer, Edgar Stites being born in Cape May, New Jersey and he was a descendent of John Howland who came over on the Mayflower. He served in the Union forces and later became a Methodist Preacher. The song was written in 1876 and the writer spoke of how he could only get through a couple of verses at a time before being overcome with emotion and falling on his face.
    I am rating this book, 5 stars of 5. A lot of research has gone into compiling this book. Many of the songs included are very old and records long ago are not easy to find. The stories are interesting and moving. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the great old classic hymns.
    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 6, 2011

    A Treasure

    I grew up attending a small church in the country. On the back of each pew you found two different hymnals, one newer than the other but with time each just as worn with use, both holding the words we'd lift up to our Creator each Sunday morning. I sang those words over and over and some songs grew more precious in my heart as they were the words springing from my very soul but I never knew the stories behind the songs...until now. Enter Robert J. Morgan's book "Then Sings My Soul", a collection of stories and history behind 150 of the most beloved Christmas, Easter and all-time favorite hymns.

    This book is more than just a dry recounting of historical fact. The stories behind each hymn bring to life the people who wrote them and give insight into their lives and how their faith led them to write the song. The stories are reflective and add depth to the worship experience held when singing these songs.

    The design of the book itself with it's ivory paper and jagged edges give it a vintage, hymnal feel. The layout of each story is quite appealing with the hymn including words and music on the left with the corresponding story on the right. You can't help but pause and sing at least part of the hymn before reading each story.

    While reading this book, I learned how "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" was written against the back drop of the Civil War and deep personal pain in the life of it's author, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I discovered that "Silent Night" was written hastily on Christmas Eve when Father Joseph Mohr was facing a midnight service with a broken organ and ruined musical plans. The song was first sung with a guitar accompaniment on Christmas Eve 1818. I learned that there is a rich heritage of faith behind the hymns that have stood the test of time.

    This book is a treasure I will return to over and over. If you grew up singing these classic hymns, I know you will love this book too. It would make a wonderful gift to your church library, song director or pastor as well.

    Disclosure: This book was provided to me by Thomas Nelson Publishing through BookSneeze. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

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  • Posted December 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommended for anyone who loves worship!

    Then Sings My Soul: Special Edition
    Robert J. Morgan
    Thomas Nelson Publishing

    Is there a festive season of the year that is complete without one of your favorite hymns? Not only do hymns connect you to great memories, but they also reveal the faith of those who lived throughout history. As Robert Morgan explored the stories behind some of the best loved hymns, he found fascinating accounts of tribulations, triumphs struggles, and hope - ordinary people who connected with God in amazing ways, sharing their experiences through song. Discover the inspiration behind your favorite hymns. Find new favorites as you relate to the people whose walk of faith led them to write these classic songs of praise. Share these stories with your family, friends, and church, and find more depth and meaning as you worship God through song.

    I am the worship leader in my church and I really found this book to be incredible. The messages are short, sweet, and to the point, which makes it easier to fit them in between songs in a worship service -- and the stories themselves are a tremendous example of God's strength, provision, and providence. Some of the stories are more in-depth than others, but even the shorter ones are a spring-board for deeper, thought provoking questions.

    The songs are broken up into categories: Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Patriotic, and Other Favorites, so it is easy to find a song that fits the message being preached or the holiday that is approaching. They are also indexed by Title, Author/Songwriter, and by the first line of the hymn, so you can find just what you want even if you can't remember the title.

    This book is an incredible collection of titles and stories. It is the perfect addition to any singer, songwriter, or worship leader's library, and I highly recommend it.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted December 21, 2010

    Wonderful book!

    One word sums up this series of books: Incredible. I cannot describe these books in any other way. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. We have the first two books from the series, and I am very interested in every one. Growing up in the church, we sang many of these. To read the stories behind them makes these hymns and songs come alive. It breathes new life into them. I find the songs much more meaningful knowing the history behind the song or the writer(s). This edition was especially timely, as the first hymns are devoted to Christmas songs. I found it very enjoyable to read these songs during the lead up to Christmas. I would highly recommend all of the Then Sings My Soul books as devotionals. This edition would be a wonderful edition to Christmas and Easter celebrations. I will be re-reading this at a slower pace, most likely during the Lent season. Get this book today, especially if you grew up with these hymns, like I did, without knowing the history behind the song or writers. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted December 22, 2010

    Great Book

    It is amazing to me that you sing these songs every Sunday in church, you sing some of them at funerals, and you sing them at holiday such as Christmas and Easter. You can help but love the hymns we sing each time we go to church. But I never really stop to thing that each song has a story to tell. In his new book Robert J Morgan's Then Sings My Soul tell you that story of the beloved hymns we sing at church.
    I really enjoyed this book; I love history and love to sing the hymns (I not much of a singer but it makes you feel good when you sing). After reading this book you will stop and think about the person who wrote this and know that God had His hand in help them write there song. You can feel that as you read it. I recommend this book to all and I know that you will enjoy it as much as I have.

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  • Posted December 19, 2010

    My Soul is Singing

    I was excited to receive Then Sings My Soul: Special Edition by Robert Morgan from BookSneeze on behalf of Thomas Nelson Publishing. Morgan brings to life 150 Christian hymns as he recounts the history behind each song. Each hymn is printed with lyrics and music on one page and the accompanying story is told on the adjoining page.
    First off I must mention the presentation of the book. As an avid reader I am a fan of hardcovers as they can withstand more handling. However, Then Sings My Soul is a softcover and beautiful. The cover is nicely done and the pages are made to look worn and antiquated.
    On to the meat. Morgan does an excellent job of summarizing the biographies of the authors and composers of the hymns. He also explains details that I would have otherwise overlooked. Some of my favorite Christmas songs and Christian hymns now hold deeper meaning. To read about the hardships that were endured and subsequently were precursors to the words, brought tears to my eyes a few times. Then again reading about a teacher who supposedly taught his classes with a pet bat on his shoulder made me chuckle, yet who could bring his emotions to light in a song is inspiring.
    I was moved by the hymns as I read each word carefully. Some hymns I was familiar with and others I had never heard. I am not a music critic. I am a Christian mother who enjoys her music greatly. I made a wise decision picking up this book. Then Sings My Soul is a wonderful read for any Christian, particularly those who want a greater appreciation of what Christ has done for them. The only thing that could enhance the experience of Morgan's book is an accompanying CD. May your soul sing.

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  • Posted December 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Totally Inspirational!

    I found this book really inspirational. I knew there was some sort of significance behind these hymns, but there were some stories I'd never even heard about. Some are sad, some are happy, but each made me want to praise the Lord for what He has done. Without His work in the lives of these songwriters, we would not have the hymns we sing today. And without His revealing of His Word to the writers, they would not have the powerful lyrics that compel us to bend in adoration to our Creator and Savior even to this day. The best way to praise the Lord is to sing His Word back to Him, and many of the songs do just that.

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  • Posted December 8, 2010

    Sing to the Lord!

    I love singing hymns and songs of praise to my Lord, and this was a great read for that! Then Sings My Soul is a book written containing many of the hymns we sing today. It not only has the hymn on one side of the page, but it also has the story behind the hymn and translations as applicable. I have found that I appreciate many of the songs that I sing everyday a bit more after reading this.

    This is also a great book to incorporate into your devotional time. I have found that it has helped me to lavish and reflect on God's love for me as a sinner and as His child. I look forward to sharing this book with my family and friends. I also look forward to continuing to use this book in my spiritual walk.

    It is amazing to think of what went into not only writing the songs but also putting them to music so that they could be used for worship. The Lord is good and we should sing and praise His name!

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  • Posted December 7, 2010

    Very interesting and fun to read!

    This is a collection of 150 hymns and the stories behind the songs. The left hand page has the sheet music and the right hand page has the history of the song and/or author. Broken down into Christmas, Easter and All time favorites, this is a beautiful book with the edge of the pages rough like in an old hymnal. The stories are uplifting, informative and encouraging. It's always so inspiring to read about what some people went through and to see how they never lost faith and were still able to praise God in everything to the point of writing a wonderful song that is still sung today. The inspiration that lead to some of our favorite hymns is interesting and being able to read the words and the stories behind them give them a whole new meaning. I know that when I hear some of these songs again I will be thinking about the situations that the author was in when he/she penned these powerful words and the song will have more impact.

    This would make a wonderful gift to a pastor, choir member or hymn lover.

    This book was provided to me by Booksneeze in exchange for a review. The opinions are completely my own.

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  • Posted December 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book

    The book, Then Sings My Soul Special Edition, is a great book to remember hymns from for the past. There are 150 hymns in this book with each one having a story behind it. It is amazing how each one comes alive after reading the history of the hymns. This will help give you a new meaning for of some of the hymns. It will also give you a new perspective for your favorite ones. This book is a must have for everyone that has heard hymns in their life.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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  • Posted December 6, 2010

    Ever wonder how your favorite hymn came to be?

    "Then Sings my Soul" written by Robert J. Morgan is a very intersting and inspiring book. It contains words and music to many favorite hymns and a glimpse into the lives of the people who composed them! I felt like singing my favorites as I read them. I especially enjoyed learning about my favorite hymns. Robert J. Morgan must of done a lot research and spent a lot of time compiling and putting this book together and I'm glad he did. I learned alot!

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  • Posted December 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended. A Great collection!

    Then Sings My Soul (Special Edition) by Robert Morgan indeed is a delightful collection to own, and I am so grateful to Booksneeze to make this book available for review. It is a collection of 150 hymns for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, general all-time favorites, etc. Each hymn is presented in a two-page format, the left page is the music score of the hymn, and the right page is a devotional styled story behind the hymn. The music score is written in an easy to play format, and being someone who enjoys playing piano, this book is really a great compilation to have. Then Sing My Soul includes some of the hymns that I love the most, for example: He leadeth me, Be Thou My Vision, And Can It Be That I Should Gain, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, This is My Father's World, 'Tis So Sweet To Trust in Jesus, It Is Well With My Soul, Take My Life and Let it Be, Amazing Grace, The Old Rugged Cross, I Surrender All, and the all-time classic children hymn, Jesus Loves Me This I Know. It also includes the newer 'Because He Lives' by Bill and Gloria Gaither. It is so encouraging to read the story on how the Gaithers wrote 'Because He Lives'. It was during the sixties when racial tensions were on the rise in America that the Gaithers were blessed with another newborn that they were not expecting. They were pretty worried for the future of the new baby that Gloria was carrying. As they prayed, God gave them comforting words. In the words of the Gaithers, they said: While pondering and praying about these things, we came to realize anew that our courage doesn't come from a stable world, for the world has never been stable. Jesus Himself was born in the cruelest of times. No, we have babies, raise families and risk living because the Resurrection is true! Furthermore, this special edition comes with the deckle or jagged edge with French flap cover that gives the book a classical feel.

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  • Posted December 1, 2010

    if you love history, u will love this book

    This is really a nice book! I enjoy it a lot. It is a Special Edition complilation of 150 of the most popular and favorite Hymns.
    Now, why i said this is a good book? because.
    Its feed my curiosity. My favorite subject in school is history. So i am curious of the history of the song.
    I always been wondering how my favorite hymns such as amazing grace and silent night created. Besides , the life of the creator of the song and bible verses also included. Its a wonderful devotional.
    This book also introduce me to new hymn that i never listen before, and make me google for it and listen to it. there is one song that i particularly love from this book!.that is Jesus paid it all.
    aww what a sweet song. Song such as this always never fail make me feel better when i feel such a sinner and don't deserve his love. Thats why this book is love because i can know the history of my favorite song and also get to know new song.
    l love this book so much! i give it 5 star out of 5 star. This book is gratefully received from Thomas Nelson Publisher as part of their booksneeze blogger program. i am not required to write positive review and therefore, the review is 100% opinion of my own.
    p/s: if i have kids , i will use this book as story telling can or not? and play those hymn for him/her. ekekekek <3

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  • Posted November 18, 2010

    Great Christmas Gift!

    I recently received my copy of Then Sings My Soul by Robert Morgan. This book is a compilation of various famous hymns common to Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Patriotic Hymns and other commonly sung well known hymns. Not only do you receive the hymns (and sheet music as if a hymn book in itself) but along with the hymn itself, you get a wonderful story behind each hymn.



    I personally grew up in a small country church that sang only hymns. It wasn't until my early teen years that I was really introduced to what is more common in worship now as the praise songs and contemporary Christian music. So many (if not nearly all) of the hymns in this book are near and dear to my heart. They are songs that when sung or heard remind me of my childhood and especially the small country church my grandparents still attend. The Sunday mornings listening to the 4 part harmonies in that building to me IS the definition of worship!

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