I woke up this morning with this old hymn playing on the radio in my head:
I wondered about the story behind the song, so I found a wonderful little book that my mom gave me when I was somewhere between twelve and fifteen years old. I wrote my name, address, and phone number in the book. The address is one of two places we lived. The phone number comes from the “olden days.” It starts with letters, not numbers 🙂
Anyway, the book is a collection of 40 stories behind 40 hymns. It was published first in 1943, and is probably out of print by now.
So here’s the story:
It was said of Ed Card, the superintendent of the Sunshine Rescue Mission in St. Louis, Missouri, that he was “heaven aflame in the face of a man.” His love of God, and his love for his work, was often expressed in the one word he used over and over: Glory!
No one laughed at him, as I fear might happen today. That, or people would be mildly uncomfortable with such a hearty expression of the joy of the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of people who had thought there was nowhere for them to turn.
It is said that when Ed Carder prayed, he drew men nearer to the God he served. And always, his prayer ended with, “And that will be glory for me!”
The prolific songwriter, Charles H. Gabriel, “The Prince of Gospel Song Writers,” was inspired to take that sentence and build a song around it. Mr. Carder, often called “Old Glory Face,” lived long enough to sing that song over and over, with great enthusiasm.
I grew up enjoying this song, singing it and later playing the piano for the church service. It’s a fun hymn to play. It lends itself naturally to improvisation, and it has such joy contained in the words and music that, although I don’t hear it much these days, I can still sing all three verses from memory.
I hope you’ll enjoy renewing your memory of this song, or perhaps hearing it for the first time.