Song Lyric Sunday – Shall We Gather At the River

This week Jim Adams has prompted us with choosing songs involving Acquire | Collect | Gather | Secure for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday.

In the time that we are living with a pandemic that has killed over 658,000 souls around the world as of this post, we are not gathering much these days. If you are, you are literally taking your life into your own hands. But for today, let’s celebrate the times that we did gather to be with loved ones and family members. Remember those days? Seems like a lifetime ago. While we gather at our computers to be company to other bloggers, we are secure in our homes so as to not acquire or collect COVID-19.

“Shall We Gather at the River” is also known simply as “At the River” and are the popular names for the traditional Christian hymn titled “Hanson Place”. The title “Hanson Place” is referred to the original Hanson Place Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York. This was a hymn we sang in church when I was a kid. I was raised and baptised in the Bridgeport Church of Christ in Texas and one of the beliefs was that we had to sing acapella in church. Musical instruments were not allowed in our church. This proved to be difficult for me as I can’t carry a tune, but I tried. As I got older, I began playing the coronet (trumpet) and moved on to the French Horn. I could read music and play, but never could sing.

The song was written in 1864 by American poet & gospel music composer Robert Lowry.

I chose to share the 1977 version from the Hee Haw Gospel Quartet. Members include from left to right in the video, Kenny Price, Grandpa Jones, Roy Clark & Buck Owens.

Hee Haw was an American television variety show featuring country music and humor as portrayed by the folks from fictional Kornfield Kounty. It was hosted by Roy Clark & Buck Owens. Each week, the characters on the show would entertain us with their skits and jokes. They became household names. Country music stars were special guests, performing their current singles. Sometimes, Hee Haw would bring in an up-and-coming artist that would propel their career. During the final segment of each show, the Hee Haw Gospel Quartet performed a gospel song. Hee Haw was on prime time CBS for the first two seasons in 1969-1970. Beginning in the fall of 1971, Hee Haw switched to first-run syndication style distribution where it remained for 21 more seasons. Every Saturday night, we watched Hee Haw followed by The Porter Wagoner Show and the Grand Ole Opry!

You can find full episodes of Hee Haw on YouTube.

“Shall We Gather at the River”

Shall we gather at the river
Where bright angel feet have trod
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?
Yes, we'll gather at the river
The beautiful, the beautiful river
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God
Soon we'll reach the shining river
Soon our pilgrimage will cease
Soon our happy hearts will quiver
With the melody of peace
Yes, we'll gather at the river
The beautiful, the beautiful river
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Robert Lowry / Mark Hayes
Shall We Gather at the River lyrics Β© Word Music Llc, Two Fine Boys Music, Jrm Music, Word Music, Llc

22 Comments on “Song Lyric Sunday – Shall We Gather At the River

  1. Wonderful song. Will be in my head all day, thanks! I think HeeHaw episodes are available on YouTube. What a hoot! Except for the Hager Bros.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I lived in the other end of Brooklyn, closer to JFK Airport, but when I was there it was called Idlewild. I remember watching Hee Haw on TV and they had some great music.

    Liked by 1 person

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