How can I keep from singing (SAA)

Music: Robert Lowry arr. Frances Cockburn. Words: Pauline T.
performance time approx 2m 10s
Range S: b♭ - f'' / A1: b♭ - b'♭ / A2: g - d''
Price code: B
Complexity: **

See a perusal copy of the music.
Hear a synthesized realisation
How Can I Keep From Singing was originally a 19th century hymn with words by one “Pauline T.” and music by Robert Lowry, a Baptist minister. In the folk movement of the 1960s, the song was taken up by Pete Seeger, who created a secular version of the original lyrics and included an extra verse by Doris Plenn that was understood to refer to McCarthyism. Many variants of the lyrics now exist, incorporating strands both of the original and of Seeger’s version.  And, in a kind of circle, the song has also been republished in many hymnals and sung as a hymn again. To stay clearly within copyright, we have published Pauline T’s original words in this arrangement, but you are free to make your own decisions about which words to use in practice.


My life flows on in endless song:
Above Earth’s lamentation,
I catch the real though 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 though my joys and comforts die?
The Lord my Saviour liveth;
What though 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?

Attributed to "Pauline T." in the New York Observer, August 7, 1868

Purchase – 5041: How can I keep from singing (SAA)

Before you click the "buy" button, please enter the name of your group and select the appropriate size.
Name of group
Size of group
The price depends on the number of singers in your group. This is a single payment for a licence to make as many copies as you need for your group to rehearse and perform the song. You can also re-print - for instance, to replace copies that get lost or worn out.

Copies must not be given, lent, hired or sold to any other group.

Orders are normally despatched within 24 hours - not instantly, because each PDF file is created specially for the purchaser.

Canasg sales are processed via Paypal. Paypal lets you pay with a simple credit or debit card if you don’t have a Paypal account. Your Paypal transaction will be in sterling and it will be converted automatically if your credit card draws on a different currency. Paypal passes none of your secure information to Canasg.

If you would like us to send an invoice before you pay, or if you would like your order priced in $US or Euros, then please e-mail your order to us instead of using the form above.
Canasg Choral Music Publishing
Canasg Music
16 Morningside Park,
Edinburgh EH10 5HB, Scotland
Contact us