How can I keep from singing

SSAA, a capella

A glorious setting of this favorite song. A small group begins the piece singing in unison; the piece builds and builds to the six-part ending.

Program Note

This well-known hymn tune arrangement for women’s voices was made for the 2004 Alliance World Festival of Women’s Singing. That arrangement was premiered at the international festival in the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, sung by a massed choir of 450 singers from around the world. A popular setting, it has received numerous performances throughout the United States and Europe since that time

Notes on preparation and performance

Measures 1-22 may be sung by four soloists or by a semi-choir. It may also be sung by the entire soprano and alto sections. If sung by soloists or semi-choir, it can be effectively sung antiphonally.

Text

My life flows on in endless song above earth’s lamentation,I hear the real, though far-off hymn that hails a new creation. Through all the tumult and the strife I hear the music ringing, it sounds an echo in my soul. How can I keep from singing? What though the tempest loudly roars, I hear the truth, it liveth. What though the darkness round me close, songs in the night it giveth. No storm can shake my in-most calm, while to that rock I’m clinging. Since love is lord of heav’n and earth, how can I keep from singing! When tyrants tremble as they hear the bells of freedom ringing, when friends rejoice both far and near, how can I keep from singing! To prison cell and dungeon vile our thoughts to them are winging, when friends by shame are undefiled, how can I keep from singing!

Buy this score at Santa Barbara Music Publishing.