I love to tell the story

I love to tell the story
  Of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory,
  Of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story,
  Because I know ’tis true;
It satisfies my longings
  As nothing else can do.
  I love to tell the story,
’Twill be my theme in glory
To tell the old, old story
  of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story;
  More wonderful it seems
Than all the golden fancies
  Of all my golden dreams,
I love to tell the story,
  It did so much for me;
And that is just the reason
  I tell it now to thee.
I love to tell the story;
  ’Tis pleasant to repeat
What seems each time I tell it,
  More wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story;
  For some have never heard
The message of salvation
  From God’s own holy Word.
I love to tell the story;
  For those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting
  To hear it like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glory,
  I sing the new, new song,
’Twill be the old, old story,
  That I have loved so long.


This song touched my heart and I had it sung in church on old year's night 2018.


Mayodan, NC, United States

We love to sing, "I love to tell the story," but do we? When was the last time that you told the story of what difference the love of God has made in your life? Shared in your assurance that God is real and God is with us.

The song is melodious and pleasant to ones ear, but, if we are to love to tell the story then we must be willing to put ourselves in the place of its author, Katherine Hankey, who is describing her love to tell the story, "of Jesus and His love" and "the message of salvation." How willing are we to "tell the old, old story" that we love to tell to some one we won't even speak to.


Buffalo Grove, IL, United States

This brings back so many good memories growing up it brings smiles of hope and peace.


NCR, Philippines

We sang this hymn yesterday and today while at the office I found myself humming this hymn. "I love to tell the story of unseen things above hmm..." Thank the Lord for His great salvation! We must be bold to tell the story of our Lord Jesus, we can't deny the fact that He is so real to us... 'twill be our theme in glory to tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love!

Baptist Oyet

Ipswich, Queensland, Australia

This song is very peaceful.

Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

Arabella Katherine (Kate) Hankey's family worshiped with an evangelical sect called "the Clapham group", which was associated with William Wilberforce, an important statesman and humanitarian who is especially remembered for his work to abolish the slave trade.

Kate never married and spent her entire life in religious activities: teaching Bible classes for working women, supporting foreign missions, and visiting the sick. In 1866 she became seriously ill, and during a long period of convalescence she wrote a poem of 50 stanzas in 2 parts, based on the life of Christ and called "The Old, Old Story". In the 1st section, she included stanzas that were later set to music and published as a gospel song entitled "Tell Me the Old, Old Story." In the latter part of the poem, she included other stanzas that begin, "I love to tell the story." None of Miss Hankey's original poem was intended to be sung, but those 2 songs are still heard in churches today.

"I Love to Tell the Story" explains *why* the singer loves to tell this story: 1st, "because I know 'tis true"; 2nd because "it satisfies my longings as nothing else can do"; 3rd, because "some have never heard the message of salvation from God's own Holy Word"; and 4th, because "those who know it best seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest."

Actually, in these lines, Kate Hankey gives only a broad outline of the actual story she loved to tell - and did tell in the remaining unsung lines of her long poem. The story is not confined to the 33 years of Jesus' earthly life. It begins in the glory of God's eternal presence, when God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit purposed to create the universe, which would contain a planet called Earth. This planet would be the home of a human race with whom God would share His love and His fellowship.

The poem continues with a description of the actual work of creation narrated in Genesis 1 and includes the failure of the 1st human beings to respond properly to God's loving gifts. The story tells of God's continuing actions to save His people, especially through His covenants with Abraham and Moses, and His mighty, loving deeds on behalf of the Hebrew people.

The narrative reaches its climax when God's eternal Son renounces His glory to live among us humans, to minister to all human need, to show us how we should live and serve Him, and finally, to die on the cross and rise again from the dead to make that possible.

Yet the story goes on. Jesus ascended into heaven, where He now acts as our Intercessor, pleading our cause with the Father. One day He will return to take believers to live eternally in God's presence, where "telling the story" will be our joyful, unending occupation!

Finally, this is not just one story among many. In all the world's libraries, this is *the* story - the most important story in all history. For every human being is included in that story of "Jesus and His love." - Donald Hustad, organist for Billy Graham Crusades

Steve Miller

Detroit, Michigan, United States

"This is the message of a person who believes with all his heart in what he is singing. He loves to tell people the story, knowing that they too will believe and join him in marching to the ultimate goal. This gospel hymn was one of the big ones back in the days of the Moody and Sankey revival meetings. It became so popular that people whistled it as they walked along the street. I do it myself sometimes - which means either I'm old-fashioned or the song is still good. Maybe both!" - Tennessee Ernie Ford (1919-91)

Ernie recommends:

1st & 2nd stanzas: Solo voices

4th stanza: All voices in unison

(Ernie's version didn't have the 3rd stanza.)

Refrains: All voices in unison, sing in 4-part harmony from piano accompaniment.

a joyful tempo


Sally 8/3/2015 from my own state of Michigan: It's ok not to enjoy this hymn. People have different and changing preferences. But don't look down on people who love this hymn. It expresses what is in one's heart. How often do you read the whole Bible with the Psalms? Thanks for sharing.

David E Thompson

Mantachie, MS, United States

I too am very sorry that Sally did not appreciate "The Old Old Story." I would first question her knowledge of scripture, then her commitment to Christ and thirdly what her church affiliation is. Lot of crazy teaching out there that undermines the spirit in which these songs were written.

Terry Beals

Butler, Oklahoma

I am sad that Sally Porter does not find the joy that the writer intended for the Christian in this great and wonderful hymn. It is not for the lost. It is for the saved who reflect upon that day when God, by His grace, saved them. I find it very comforting and moving. It DOES make me realize that I need to tell the story that has meant so much to me.

Sally Porter

Ironwood, MI, United States

I am overjoyed to be a Christian, but I can't credit this or any other sentimental non-informative song with any influence on my conversion. I find such songs exceedingly irritating. I am always waiting for "the story", the actual facts and reasons. I have a longing for Christ but this singing of longing is not at all satisfying. I prefer real meat. Nice that people are drawn by the song, but I hope they find real truth and grow in faith, not remain sentimental and fool themselves that they are Christians. They could be in for a rueful awakening.