The storm is passing over


Origins. This hymn by Charles Albert Tindley (1851–1933) was first published in his collection Soul Echoes (1905 | 2nd ed. shown in Fig. 1). Like many classic hymns, including Tindley’s “We’ll understand it better by and by” or Horatio Spafford’s “It is well with my soul,” this text draws on the imagery of storm and sea, especially the biblical account of Jesus calming the sea in Matthew 8:23-27. The musical arrangement in the original printing was by one of Tindley’s close collaborators, Francis A. Clark, otherwise known at the time as Professor F.A. Clark. The fourth stanza appeals to a heavenly rest from all storms. 


Fig. 1. Soul Echoes No. 2 (1909).


Adaptation. This hymn is known to modern worshipers in a very different form, an adaptation by Donald Vails for the Donald Vails Choraleers, published on his album In Deep Water (Savoy Records SL-14421, 1976 | Fig 2). The song was also included on his album Yesterday, Today, and Forever (Sound of Gospel, 1985 | Fig. 2). For his arrangement, Vails only used the words of the first stanza and the refrain, and he rewrote the melody. This is the version of the hymn which is most often performed by choirs and appears in modern hymnals, such as the African American Heritage Hymnal (2001). 


Fig. 2. Left: In Deep Water (1976). Right: Yesterday, Today, and Forever (1985).


for Hymnology Archive
12 July 2018

Related Resources:

“The storm is passing over,”

Donald Vails Choraleers, Yesterday, Today, and Forever (1985): Amazon