How Can I Keep From Singing?

Traditional, recorded January 2012


You can download the .mp3 here: HowCanIKeepFromSinging.mp3

BinaryRhyme-WoodsIII110923-0011 webMy life goes on in endless song
above earth’s lamentation,
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
that hails a new creation.

No storm can shake my inmost calm,
while to that rock I’m clinging.
Since love is lord of heaven and earth
how can I keep from singing?

Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing,
It sounds and echoes in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?

What though the tempest ‘round me roars,
I hear the truth, it liveth.
And though the darkness ’round me close,
songs in the night it giveth.


This hymn is a personal anthem, and a favorite of my Mom, and my friend Barb. When I got my new guitar (the incomparable Taylor 814ce) in the spring, I had promised that this would be the first song I would record with it. There are actually three guitar tracks, the most prevalent being finger picked in D, with a tamer finger picked track and a strum track, both played in C, capo 2. The thunder claps are re-used from the sound design for I Hate Hamlet – I always thought this tune needed foul weather in the background.

The painting is called “The Woods,” and was painted in the summer of 2011. I thought the light in the distance an apt visual for this song.