Tell them, thus saith the Lord God.@Ezekiel 3:11

A. Katherine Hankey, 1866. The lyrics are similar to those of I Love to Tell the Story; both come from Hankey’s poem The Old, Old Story.

I wrote the first part toward the end of January 1866. I was unwell at the time, just recovering from a severe illness, and the first stanza really indicates my state of health, for I was literally weak and weary. When I had written the first part, which consisted of eight stanzas of four lines each, I laid it aside, and it was not until the following November that I completed the whole hymn.

Blanchard, p. 89

W. Howard Doane, 1867 ( pdf nwc).

This excellent hymn by Miss Hankey, of London, has been translated into many languages, and has been set to several tunes. Dr. Doane has this to say regarding the music by which it has become popular, and the occasion on which he composed it: In 1867 I was attending the International Convention of the Young Men’s Christian Association, in Montreal. Among those present was Major-General Russell, then in command of the English force during the Fenian excitement. He arose in the meeting and recited the words of this song from a sheet of foolscap paper—tears streaming down his bronzed cheeks as he read. I wrote the music for the song one hot afternoon while on the stage-coach between the Glen Falls House and the Crawford House in the White Mountains. That evening we sang it in the parlors of the hotel. We thought it pretty, although we scarcely anticipated the popularity which was subsequently accorded it.

Sankey, pp. 256-7

portrait
W. Howard Doane (1832-1915)

Tell me the old, old story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
Tell me the story simply, as to a little child,
For I am weak and weary, and helpless and defiled.

Refrain

Tell me the old, old story, tell me the old, old story,
Tell me the old, old story, of Jesus and His love.

Tell me the story slowly, that I may take it in,
That wonderful redemption, God’s remedy for sin.
Tell me the story often, for I forget so soon;
The early dew of morning has passed away at noon.

Refrain

Tell me the story softly, with earnest tones and grave;
Remember I’m the sinner whom Jesus came to save.
Tell me the story always, if you would really be,
In any time of trouble, a comforter to me.

Refrain

Tell me the same old story when you have cause to fear
That this world’s empty glory is costing me too dear.
Yes, and when that world’s glory is dawning on my soul,
Tell me the old, old story: Christ Jesus makes thee whole.

Refrain