Scripture Verse

Let me tell you what He has done for me. Psalm 66:16


William G. Fischer (1835–1912)

Words: A. Ka­ther­ine Han­key, 1866. The stan­zas be­low come from her po­em The Sto­ry Told, which had 42 vers­es, com­pris­ing the se­cond half of her 50-verse po­em of which Tell Me the Old, Old Sto­ry is the first part.

Music: Will­iam G. Fisch­er, Joy­ful Songs, Nos. 1 to 3 (Phi­la­del­phia, Penn­syl­van­ia: Me­tho­dist Epis­co­pal Book Room, 1869) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Origin of the Hymn

This is from a long po­em on the life of Je­sus that was writ­ten in 1866. It is in two parts. The first part is a po­em of fif­ty stan­zas, and is ti­tled, The Sto­ry Want­ed be­ing dat­ed Jan­ua­ry 29, 1866. The se­cond part is ti­tled The Sto­ry Told, and is dat­ed No­vem­ber 18, 1866.

It is said that the au­thor had a se­ri­ous spell of sick­ness just be­fore this po­em was com­posed, and that she oc­cu­pied the long days of con­va­les­cence in writ­ing the po­em.

Certain vers­es were ta­ken from Part I. by Dr. W. H. Doane in 1867 to make the po­pu­lar and fa­mil­iar hymn be­gin­ning, Tell me the old, old sto­ry, for which he com­posed the fa­mil­iar tune to which those words are com­mon­ly sung.

From Part II. cer­tain vers­es have been se­lect­ed to make the above hymn, I Love to Tell the Sto­ry, the tune to which was com­posed by W. G. Fisch­er.

This is one of the most po­pu­lar of all mo­dern hymns, and has been trans­lat­ed in­to sev­er­al dif­fer­ent lang­uag­es. These and oth­er hymns by the au­thor have been pub­lished from time to time in dif­fe­rent forms, some­times ac­com­pa­nied by tunes com­posed by her­self.

Many of her hymns are found in a lit­tle vol­ume which she pub­lished in 1870, ti­tled Heart to Heart. Ve­ry few hymns writ­ten in the last fif­ty years have so tak­en hold of the hearts of the peo­ple, both the young and the old, as has this sim­ple lit­tle song.

Nutter, p. 286

Last win­ter a young man ap­peared here from Brit­ish Co­lum­bia, says a let­ter from Sur­rey, Eng­land. “He was in the Roy­al Ma­rines. He was a to­tal ab­stain­er and was do­ing all he could to pro­mote tem­per­ance among his com­rades.

“While here he went to church, and the cu­rate, who had a con­ver­sa­tion with him, was much pleased with his man­ly be­hav­ior and re­so­lute de­sire to do right. He wore a me­dal and had good con­duct marks on his clothes.

“This man was the lit­tle boy whom Miss T. had picked up in Bat­ter­sea Park ma­ny years be­fore, and who had learned of the gos­pel of sal­va­tion en­tire­ly by list­en­ing to the maid­serv­ants sing­ing sac­red songs while scrub­bing the door­steps and clean­ing win­dows.

“The hymn that, as a child, he seemed to make en­tire­ly his own was, ‘I love to tell the sto­ry,’ though he knew sev­er­al oth­ers when he was picked up in the park.

As he had ne­ver been to church or cha­pel, the hymns were the on­ly chan­nel through which di­vine truth had been con­veyed to him, and by which the first seed was sown in his heart that made him a man of char­ac­ter and use­ful­ness.

Sankey, pp. 164–65


I love to tell the sto­ry
Of un­seen things above,
Of Je­sus and His glo­ry,
Of Je­sus and His love.
I love to tell the sto­ry,
Because I know ’tis true;
It sa­tis­fies my long­ings
As no­thing else can do.


I love to tell the sto­ry,
’Twill be my theme in glo­ry,
To tell the old, old sto­ry
Of Je­sus and His love.

I love to tell the sto­ry;
More won­der­ful it seems
Than all the gold­en fan­cies
Of all our gold­en dreams.
I love to tell the sto­ry,
It did so much for me;
And that is just the rea­son
I tell it now to thee.


I love to tell the sto­ry;
’Tis plea­sant to re­peat
What seems, each time I tell it,
More won­der­ful­ly sweet.
I love to tell the sto­ry,
For some have ne­ver heard
The mes­sage of sal­va­tion
From God’s own ho­ly Word.


I love to tell the sto­ry,
For those who know it best
Seem hun­ger­ing and thirst­ing
To hear it like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glo­ry,
I sing the new, new song,
’Twill be the old, old sto­ry
That I have loved so long.