Book Review: Then Sings My Soul (Robert J. Morgan)

Then Sings My Soul is an impressive compilation of the stories behind 150 of the hymns sung in our churches in America.  The layout is very user-friendly and easy to navigate with flaps inside the front and back cover pages (great for page markers); a simple table of contents that separates the songs into categories (Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Patriotic, Other Favorites); indices at the back for finding songs by title, author/songwriter or first line.  Throughout the book, the left page is a sheet of music from the hymn (often the entire hymn), and the right page is the hymn story.  On the right-hand story page, the title of the hymn is displayed prominently with the year of the writing of the hymn underneath (not always in chronological order) and a relevant Bible verse underneath the date.

Aesthetically pleasing from the cover quality to the layout of the text,  Then Sings My Soul is an uplifting and educational collection of the background behind Christian songs, some of them written hundreds of years ago.  I was repeatedly fascinated with the stories throughout the book, although some of them were just about the author of the hymn and not the writing of the hymn itself.  The Bible verse included with each story would be helpful for readers using the book as a devotional, but I found them distracting.  The author obviously spent an enormous amount of time to research the information presented here, but the absence of bibliographic references left me questioning the credibility of the stories.  Also, I would recommend clean edges and transition pages between sections (e.g., Christmas to Easter).  Overall, this is an excellent choice for anyone interested in church history, music or Christianity in general.

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