About The Song

“How Great Thou Art” is a Christian hymn based on a poem written by Carl Gustav Boberg, a Swedish pastor, poet, and politician. The song has been translated into numerous languages and is widely sung in churches and religious gatherings around the world.

The original poem, titled “O Store Gud” in Swedish, was penned by Carl Boberg in 1885 after he experienced a moment of awe and inspiration while walking home from church one stormy evening. He witnessed a stunning display of nature, including a vibrant sunset and a sudden calmness after a fierce storm. This experience led him to reflect on the greatness of God and the beauty of creation.

Years later, in 1927, English missionary Stuart K. Hine, who had moved to Ukraine, heard a Russian version of Boberg’s poem. Inspired by the original words and his own experiences of God’s greatness, Hine translated the Russian version into English and added additional verses and a chorus. Hine’s English adaptation became the well-known hymn “How Great Thou Art.”
As late as 1954, “How Great Thou Art” remained all but unknown in the U.S., but with Mana Music’s backing the song eventually landed in the hands of George Beverly Shea, famed soloist in Billy Graham’s travelling crusade. Graham reportedly loved the song and quickly made it his evangelical crusade’s signature song. Given Graham’s reach, Shea all but introduced the song to the nation. He sang it live on radio, before stadiums filled with thousands of people—and during nationally televised events like the 1957 Madison Square Garden Crusade, which ran for 16 weeks and was viewed by an estimated 96 million people.

Then came Elvis. Though Shea and other popular artists like Tennessee Ernie Ford and Loretta Lynn recorded versions before him, Elvis’s recordings—his more restrained studio version from 1967 and his slightly looser live version from 1974, both of which earned him Grammys—are generally considered the canonical versions against which all others are compared. That said, many people today think first of Carrie Underwood’s chart-topping rendition from 2011.

Regardless of your favorite recording, when we reflect upon the various chance encounters and serendipitous occurrences that combined to birth “How Great Thou Art” and bring it to prominence, it’s hard not to be awed by the sheer improbability of it all; fate, dumb luck, God’s grace, call it what you will, the path from “O Store Gud” to “How Great Thou Art” is nothing if not unlikely.



🎵 Let’s sing along with the lyrics! 🎤

Oh Lord my God when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds thy hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed
When Christ shall come
With shout of acclamation
To take me home
What joy shall fill my heart
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim my God how great thou art
Then sings my soul my savior God to thee
How great thou art
How great thou art
Then sings my soul my savior God to thee
How great thou art how great thou art