I Love to Tell the Story: 25 Timeless Hymns by Andy Griffith

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Andy Griffith Loves to Tell the Story with 25 Timeless Hymns

Nov 15, 2003 (Updated Nov 15, 2003)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:gospel songs from way back when ~ many favorites

Cons:a few songs I didn't care for

The Bottom Line: If you love the older gospel songs that most churches don't sing these days you will really enjoy this CD.


The other day while at the library I looked at the CD's they had. I love to check out CD's and listen to them before I spend money buying them. Then I can tell if it would be something I would really listen to instead of just wasting my money.

One of the CD's that I came home with was I Love To Tell the Story ~ 25 Timeless Hymns by Andy Griffith. I have listened to Andy Griffith's singing in the past and thought I would enjoy this.

I grew up in a Southern Baptist church and remember most of these songs from when I was a child. I love the older gospel songs that most of the churches don't sing these days.

The Tracks:

1. Shall We Gather At The River/Will the Circle Be Unbroken
2. Precious Memories
3. The Old Rugged Cross
4. When They Ring the Golden Bells/In The Sweet By and By
5. We're Marching to Zion/When the Saints Go Marching In
6. Sweet Hour of Prayer/What a Friend We Have in Jesus
7. How Great Thou Art
8. Sweet Prospect/I Am Bound for the Promised Land
9. Amazing Grace/Grace Greater Than All Our Sin
10. I Love to Tell the Story
11. Wayfaring Stranger
12. Softly and Tenderly/I Surrender All/Pass Me Not
13. Whispering Hope
14. When We All Get to Heaven/We'll Understand It Better By
and By/When the Roll is Called Up Yonder

More Detail About the Songs:

Shall We Gather at the River starts out with piano. It was played at my Grandmother's funeral and everytime I hear it I cry because I know how much she loved this song. It is about the saints gathering at the river that flows by the thrown of God. I can picture her now as she sits at the throne of God. "Yes, we'll gather at the river, the beautiful, beautiful river that flows by the thrown of God." Will the Circle Be Unbroken is another song to make you think about your days after you are done on this earth. There's a better home awaiting in the sky Lord, in the sky.

Precious Memories was another song that was played at my Grandmother's funeral. It is a beautifully written song that reminds you of times in the past. "Precious memories, how they linger, how they ever flood my soul."
This is another song that touches me so deep that I cry when hearing it.

The Old Rugged Cross was just played at my Granddaddy's funeral in July 2003. It tells the story of Jesus on the cross for us, that he was slain for a world of lost sinners. "I'll cherish The Old Rugged Cross until my trophies at last I lay down, I will cling to The Old Rugged Cross and exchange it someday for a crown." I know my Granddaddy has his crown now.

When They Ring the Golden Bells is about the end of the times also. It has a lot of piano in it. "Don't you hear the bells ringing, don't you hear the angels singing?". In the Sweet By and By "We shall meet on that beautiful shore". It just has a couple of lines from that song.

We're Marching to Zion "the beautiful city of God". It says "there will be no more tears". I don't really care for this song. Next is When the Saints Go Marching In is a fast, upbeat song. It has nice bass background vocals and also a choir. "I want to be in that number when they crown him Lord of Lords"

Sweet Hour of Prayer starts out with a group of women singing. It is a lovely song and done very well. It is about an hour of prayer each day where you can make all of your wants and wishes known to the Father, and be able to turn to him in seasons of grief. What a Friend We Have in Jesus is my all time favorite gospel song. It tells you that you can always go to God in prayer. "Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer". Andy did a few lines of this song in talking and I thought he did a really nice job.

How Great Thou Art is one of the most loved worship songs there is. It is about somebody who looks around and sees all of the worlds He (God) has made..the stars, the rolling thunder and realizes How Great Thou Art.

Sweet Prospect is another song that I don't really care for. The sound is too drawn out. I am Bound for the Promised Land is better.

Amazing Grace is a gorgeous song that so many people love. Amazing Grace, how sweet thou sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I'm found. I once was blind, but now I see". Grace Greater Than All Our Sin is fit into the middle of the verses of Amazing Grace. Only a couple of lines is sung from that song. I loved how they fit it in the middle of Amazing Grace. My favorite verse of Amazing Grace is the last verse which is the fourth verse. "When we've been there 10,000 years, bright shining as the sun, we've no less days to sing God's praise than when we first begun". That makes you think about the time here being so short compared to all of eternity.

I Love to Tell the Story is about telling the story of Jesus and his love. I remember singing this many times in church when growing up. "I Love to Tell the Story, will be my theme in glory, to tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love".

Wayfaring Stranger is about someone going home to see his Father, no more to roam. It has a nice choir of people humming in the background.

Softly and Tenderly is a beautiful song that is sang during the invitation at many churches. "Softly and Tenderly Jesus is calling, calling for you and for me". "Come home, come home, ye who are weary come home". I Surrender All starts out with a choir humming and then the choir sings. "All to thee my blessed Savior I surrender all. All to Jesus I freely give". This is a good song for when you feel like just starting over and rededicating yourself to the Lord. Pass Me Not is one that I don't really like. Only a few lines from this song were included.

Whispering Hope is a song that I hadn't heard before now. I don't care much for this. I got distracted trying to listen to it because I thought it was too drawn out. I couldn't really focus much on the song.

The last collection of songs really makes you think of the end of your life. The songs in the last medley are When We All Get to Heaven, We'll Understand it Better by and by, and When the Roll is Called Up Yonder. They are fast upbeat and great! It makes you think of the life after this one. How great it will be one day to see Jesus and to meet up with our loved ones who have gone there before us. These songs are a celebration of what is to come.

My feelings:

Each of the songs have been done in a medley. I thought this was really unique and added a nice touch to listening to the songs. I think Andy Griffith did a wonderful job and the songs went together well.

I thought this CD was wonderful. It brought out so many different emotions in me. Some of the songs made me sad as I thought of times in the past and people that I miss. Some of the songs made me happy as I remembered singing them growing up in church years ago. Some of the songs made me think about how wonderful heaven is going to be one day.

Andy has a unique voice. It is a deep sound and at first takes a little getting used to. You will hear the piano on many of the songs. Also there is a background choir on many of the songs and sometimes even humming. You will also hear an organ, guitar, dobro, mandolin and drums in some of the songs.

If you love good ole traditional gospel music this is a CD that you need for your collection. These songs are well known songs that folks have been singing for many years. They are sure to bring up some good memories for you.

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