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How Can I Keep From Singing?

About the Song

Words: Attributed to “Pauline T.”;
Music: Robert Lowry;
Arrangement: Sally DeFord and James Loynes

This is one of those beautiful old folk-type songs that I have just been aching to arrange for quite a long time. It’s a lovely expression of gratitude, joy and hope.

The lyrics seem to have first appeared in “The New York Observer” in the mid-1800s, and the setting by Robert Lowry has since become a favorite standard hymn.

Listen (and free 128kbps MP3 downloads)

Click the Soundcloud download icon to download the free track for personal use.

Recording featuring vocals by James Loynes:

Accompaniment track:

HQ Audio Downloads

These files may be copied/shared in any quantity in any physical format unless otherwise noted. They may not be re-sold or offered for download.


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My life flows on in endless song
Above earth’s lamentation
I hear the sweet, tho’ far-off hymn
That hails a new creation
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing
It finds an echo in my soul
How can I keep from singing?

What tho’ my joys and comfort die?
The Lord my Saviour liveth
What tho’ the darkness gather round?
Songs in the night He giveth
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that Refuge clinging
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?

I lift mine eyes; the cloud grows thin
I see the blue above it
And day by day this pathway smoothes
Since first I learned to love it
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart
A fountain ever springing
All things are mine since I am His
How can I keep from singing?

If you have questions, please check the FAQ
If you don't find your answer there, feel free to post your question here. 🙂


  1. Nancy Rogers

    This site is a God-send! Thank you with all my heart.
    Very few arrangements on this version of this older folk-hymn – this is beautiful!


    I’m using this for a conference this weekend. Do I have permission to use it?

  3. Takeyo Takasugi

    I love the song!

  4. Javier Gamboa

    So beautifully sung! Deeply moving and uplifting! I love it!

  5. Bill

    do you have How can I keep from sing in a low trac?

  6. Tina Himes

    We love singing your “How Can I Keep from Singing” with our small (6-10) women’s singing group. We are polishing it up again to sing at a dinner for the volunteers at our senior center here in Buena Vista, Virginia. Thanks for sharing your talents through your wonderful musical creations.

  7. Karma Tucker

    Love love love this song! Do you have the duet music that is in the James Loynes version? It is beautiful!

  8. Phoebe Swope-Askeland


  9. sheryl

    very beautiful arrangement of one of my favorite hymn

  10. Danielle Crook

    HI! Just wanted to thank you for providing this lovely arrangement, I have been looking around the internet for a nice one for soprano solo, and yours is wonderful. Blessings!

  11. Catherine

    Yes thanks for your generosity. I’ve just broken my wrist and can’t play the acompaniment at present, so to be able to use the recorded accompaniment track is just a Godsend! Wonderful songs with great texts.

  12. Mary Hall

    Thank you for sharing this arrangement. My daughter-in-law sang this is church; first time I’d ever heard it, and my heart kept saying, “This is so my theme song!”

  13. Catherine Giesbrecht

    This is a marvelous arrangement! Thank you!

  14. Jeannette Pehrson

    Thank you so very very much for sharing this with us! I recently lost my best friend and our family has been asked to sing at her funeral. Putting together something for 15 adults and children to learn and sing in one rehearsal, that they will remember for a lifetime, is challenging. You have made our task so much easier, in this difficult time and we appreciate your generosity and talent. This is absolutely beautiful and it touches my soul – How can I keep from crying? Thank you, again.

    • sallydeford

      You’re very welcome. I hope it brings peace and comfort to you and everyone who listens. <3

  15. Deb

    Thank you so much for making this available! This old hymn just speaks to the soul, and I kept running into the contemporary song (completely different) while looking for music to this one.

  16. sue

    I have spent a lot of time looking for a great arrangement of this song (one of my most favorite)
    and I just found it for our choir!
    Thanks so much.

  17. Luis Villarroel

    me gusta mucho esta canción . podían traducir la letra al español?

  18. Dianne Lankford

    I love this song, especially with James Loynes, singing! It describes how I feel, especially as I look outside or walk through nature. My only wish is that I could sing it like he does. I really really do, but it’s in my heart!

  19. Johnny


    I love your sense of humor (on the website) and your music. I led choirs for over 40 years, but I never knew this wonderful hymn “How Can I Keep from Singing.” James Loynes’ rendition is wonderful. Thank you for making the sheet music and accompaniment track available. I haven’t quite figured out how I can time the beginning of the accompaniment track with the solo, but I’m sure it can be worked out.

    It is hard to find melodies as beautiful as this these days. Bless your soul for sharing it with us.

  20. Marjorie

    This very song describes my life.

  21. nathanels

    i simply love all your music sally you are blest

  22. Lori Pringle

    I have looked all over for this song. I found a version of it in a Methodist Hymnal and they sing it all the time. I am so glad I found this version with some of the words transposed. I LOVE IT!!!

    • Ellen Townsend

      The choir sounded lovely at the conference last month! Now we are singing it for our conference and it is simply beautiful!
      Thank you for this arrangement available, and for making it available! I sang a different arrangement of this song in high school choir many moons ago, it brings back sweet memories.

  23. Jefferson

    I Love this song!


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