I like the original lyrics far better than those created later. One of the great things about Gospel Music is that one can be part of a singing congregation, part of a swell of voices in harmony, a person among friends, all moving toward one great and deep emotion, redemption optional. This kind of music, as far from Bach as one might get, is intuitive-- and neighbourly. It's not personal, for the most part; it's communal. When I hear a lone voice singing Gospel I here a very lonely man.
Hope you have someone to share this with so the circle won't be broken.
There are loved ones in the glory,
Whose dear forms you often miss;
When you close your earthly story,
Will you join them in their bliss?
Will the circle be unbroken
By and by, by and by?
In a better home awaiting
In the sky, in the sky?
In the joyous days of childhood,
Oft they told of wondrous love,
Pointed to the dying Savior
Now they dwell with Him above.
You remember songs of heaven
Which you sang with childish voice,
Do you love the hymns they taught you,
Or are songs of earth your choice?
You can picture happy gatherings
Round the fireside long ago,
And you think of tearful partings,
When they left you here below:
One by one their seats were emptied,
One by one they went away;
Here the circle has been broken—
Will it be complete one day?
Words: Ada R. Habershon, 1907.Music: Charles H. Gabriel