I cannot tell (Londonderry Air) – Piano Ensemble

Lyrics – 4 verses

Suitable for: Lent, Passiontide, General Usage

I cannot tell why he, whom angels worship,
Should set his love upon the sons of men,
Or why, as Shepherd, he should seek the wanderers,
To bring them back, they know not how or when.
But this I know, that he was born of Mary
When Bethl’em’s manger was his only home,
And that he lived at Nazareth and laboured,
And so the Saviour, Saviour of the world, is come.

I cannot tell how silently he suffered,
As with his peace he graced this place of tears,
Or how his heart upon the cross was broken,
The crown of pain to three and thirty years.
But this I know, he heals the broken-hearted
And stays our sin and calms our lurking fear
And lifts the burden from the heavy laden;
For still the Saviour, Saviour of the world is here.

I cannot tell how he will win the nations,
How he will claim his earthly heritage,
How satisfy the needs and aspirations
Of east and west, of sinner and of sage.
But this I know, all flesh shall see his glory,
And he shall reap the harvest he has sown,
And some glad day his sun will shine in splendour
When he the Saviour, Saviour of the world, is known.

I cannot tell how all the lands shall worship,
When at his bidding every storm is stilled,
Or who can say how great the jubilation
When every heart with love and joy is filled.
But this I know, the skies will thrill with rapture,
And myriad myriad human voices sing,
And earth to heav’n, and heav’n to earth, will answer,
‘At last the Saviour, Saviour of the world, is King!’

Lyrics by William Young Fullerton (1857 – 1932), Public Domain

Recording – Download

  • Tune: Londonderry Air
  • Composer: Unknown, arranger  Richard M.S. Irwin
  • Meter: 11 10 11 10 11 10 11 12
  • Music Public Domain, arrangement Copyright © 2020 Richard M S Irwin. All rights reserved.
  • Performance Copyright © 2020 Richard M S Irwin. All rights reserved.

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