After reading the hymn I got a better understanding of the composers purpose for creating it. The composers tragic story gives him a stronger bond with his beliefs and helps him cope with his pain of losing his family.
I believe that music is key in communication. I am a sucker for this music is my life. Music can touch people in many different ways. The way this song was executed by those tenors was nothing other than sheer perfection.
Very moving. Beautiful music, of telling the story.
The Horatio Stafford Story from Wikipedia:
Son of Gazetteer author Horatio Gates Spafford and Elizabeth Clark Hewitt Spafford, he married Anna Larsen of Stavanger, Norway on September 5, 1861, in Chicago. The Spaffords were well known in 1860s Chicago. He was a prominent lawyer, a senior partner in a large and thriving law firm. He and his wife were also prominent supporters and close friends of evangelist Dwight L. Moody. A series of family tragedies began in 1870 when their only son died from scarlet fever at the age of four.
Spafford invested in real estate north of an expanding Chicago in the spring of 1871. When the Great Fire of Chicago reduced the city to ashes in October of that same year, it also destroyed most of Spafford’s sizable investment.
The wreck of the Ville Du Havre
Two years later, in 1873, Spafford decided his family should take a holiday somewhere in Europe, and chose England knowing that his friend D. L. Moody would be preaching there in the fall. He was delayed because of business, so he sent his family ahead: his wife and their four children, daughters eleven-year-old Tanetta, nine-year-old Elizabeth “Bessie”, five-year-old Margaret Lee, and two-year-old Anna “Annie”.
On November 22, 1873, while crossing the Atlantic on the steamship Ville du Havre, their ship was struck by an iron sailing vessel and 226 people lost their lives, including all four of Spafford’s daughters. Anna Spafford survived the tragedy. Upon arriving in England, she sent a telegram to Spafford beginning “Saved alone.” Spafford then sailed to England, going over the location of his daughters’ deaths. According to Bertha Spafford Vester, a daughter born after the tragedy, Spafford wrote “It Is Well with My Soul” on this journey.
The captain of this video is Cantonese, or the traditional Chinese characters we call them it China. The traditional Chinese characters are used and written by people in Hong Kong and Taiwanese. It differs from the simplified Chinese characters, which are mainly used in Mainland China. After the new Chinese government founded, the government let people to learn the simplified Chinese characters because they are easier to learn and write.
The caption is in Traditional Chinese, and I am sure this video clip was captioned to be aired on a Christian TV program in Taiwan. It has been one of my all time favorite piece of music since I was an active member of church choir. Music is once again proven to be the universal language of mankind. Many great music like this one can certainly break the boundary of our nationalities and speak directly to our hearts and souls.
My son was working on my website and he noticed Brandon’s comment and went to wikipedia and got the lyrics. This is such an interesting story that it has gone across the world and this is an Asian production. I’m not sure if it is Chinese or Korean–I think Korean because I have other films like this but not with the foreign captions, which I cannot read. Interesting when you think of all the people around the world that speak English and several other languages, when we only speak English well. Did you know that there are over 600 African languages and many of my former African students could speak several of these languages besides French, German, Portuguese, Dutch. Arabic, and of course English!!!! You might want to revisit this.
The beginning of this video was sad and it did not put a smile on my face at first but at 1:18 when they started to sing my face lit up with a smile. The lead singer has a great voice and it was really cool of the director to invite Horatio’s descendent to watch the concert. Although I can not really understand what they are saying it is still a beautiful song.
To understand this hymn, one should be familiar with the story of the Shunamite woman of 2 Kings 4:8-37 (in the Bible), and specifically in verse 26 in the King James Version, who said, “It is well, it is well” at the tragic loss of her son. The hymn is, in my opinion, a testimony about Mr. Spafford’s great faith in God who is sovereign–even over such heartbreaking experiences as the death of one’s whole family.
Since you said, “I can not really understand what they are saying,” here are the lyrics to the hymn:
It Is Well With My Soul
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know,a
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin — oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! —
My sin — not in part but the whole, —
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
But Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
A song in the night, oh my soul!
You must be logged in to post a comment.