WHEN WE "ROLL AROUND" UP YONDER

Today the church I work for was giving away old hymnals that had been found at one of our storage locations. The hymnals were printed in 1964 by Broadman Press. The assistant in the music department that has been attending that church since 1935 (and playing piano there for over 50 years) swears she has never seen these hymnals before, yet three boxes full appeared on her desk yesterday.

She sent out an e-mail today advertising the giveaway of said hymnals. I love hymns, so I e-mailed her back and had her hold one for me, then ran down to retrieve it. The cloth cover is red with the words, “Christian Praise” on the front in gold. Though I can tell it’s been used, it is in very good shape.

All that said, I was thrilled to find inside some of the the old, old hymns that nobody sings anymore. One of my favorites is one that my grandmother loved. When the Roll is Called Up Yonder is a lively tune and I will always cherish it because of it’s tie to my grandmother and also because of the following story.

As a child, my grandmother could not grasp why anyone would sing such a nasty song in church. Come to find out, she thought the title was, When We “Roll Around” up Yonder. “Roll Around,” isn’t something good Christian girls do, apparently. At my grandmother’s funeral, we sang this song and were laughing through our tears.

I was thrilled to find When the Roll is Called Up Yonder on page 426 (written by James M. Black).

When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more
And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair;
When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

Refrain: When the roll is called up yonder, when the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder, when the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise,
And the glroy of His resurrection share;
When His chosen ones shall gather to their homes beyond the skies,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

Refrain

Let us labor for the Master from the dawn till setting sun,
Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care;
Then when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

Refrain

Gotta love hymns utilizing the lovely word, “yonder.”

And you’ve gotta love the generation who sees the depth and inspiration in these songs and passes them on to the next one.

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