Saturday, June 1, 2013

Hymns Of My Fathers: "Tell It Again."

One hymn which my Grandfather Idris would sing is "Tell It Again."  It was also known as the "Gypsy boy" song which might not be entirely politically correct in today's world but that is what it was called.

The song was written by Mary Bridges Canedy Slade, the wife of a Pastor. She also wrote numerous others. These songs, as with so many old hymns, were often inspired by an experience of the composer or one which they had heard about.

Mary always said the song was based on a true story. A missionary in England walked into a gypsy camp to visit a dying boy. The minister recited the famous verse John 3:16 to him. "For God so loved the world He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believed in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." The boy responded faintly, "Nobody ever told me."

Heart wrenching stuff for a Christian to hear and I can only imagine how it stirred the heart of a missionary, church elder and preacher like my Grandfather Idris Davies. He may have heard it first in the revival meetings he used to attend as my Great Grandfather Price Davies preached. Below is the sheet music which contains the brief annotation of this story at the bottom.

Fittingly the first stanza is: "Into a tent where a gypsy boy lay, dying alone at the close of the day, news of salvation we carried: said he: "Nobody ever has told it to me."[1]


[1] The following website was very helpful in discovering the history of this song:


  1. We just heard this song yesterday in our evening church service. I have been searching for the music as I thought it would be beautiful to play. We have a mini orchestra at our church and I play the violin. This is a beautiful song.

    1. I'm glad this blog was able to help you in some way. Thanks for leaving the encouragement. If there is a way to get a recording of your mini orchestra playing it, or you on the violin, I would love to add it to this site.

  2. I'm a member of a Pentecostal church and I thought the words in this hymn were so powerful, I actually converted it into a modern day rap song keeping the lyrics the same as the original but with a modern day beat behind it - Sacrilege!! I hope you don't mind.