When The Roll is Called Up Yonder

GodTube Staff When The Roll is Called Up Yonder
"When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder" is an 1893 hymn with words and music by James Milton Black. This hymn's central theme is being in Heaven when your time has come and not missing out on the eternal salvation of God. Find the lyrics and story, plus video of this popular hymn below!

1 When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, 
and time shall be no more,
and the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair;
when the saved of earth shall gather 
over on the other shore,
and the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there.

Refrain:
When the roll is called up yonder,
when the roll is called up yonder,
when the roll is called up yonder,
when the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there.

2 On that bright and cloudless morning 
when the dead in Christ shall rise,
and the glory of his resurrection share;
when his chosen ones shall gather 
to their home beyond the skies,
and the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there. [Refrain]

3 Let us labor for the Master 
from the dawn till setting sun,
let us talk of all his wondrous love and care;
then when all of life is over, 
and our work on earth is done,
and the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there. [Refrain]

Songwriters James Milton Black Published by Public Domain

The Story Behind When The Roll is Called Up Yonder

"When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder" was inspired by the idea of The Book of Life mentioned in the Bible, and by the absence of a child in Black's Sunday school class when the attendance was taken.  The thought of someone's being not in attendance in heaven haunted Black, and after visiting the child's home and calling on a doctor to attend her for pneumonia, he went home and wrote the song after not finding one on a similar topic in his hymn collection. 

The song's lyrics were first released in a compilation called Songs of the Soul and the hymn has since been translated into at least 14 languages and sung all over the world in a variety of Christian denominations.  There are more than 500 versions available on such sites as Amazon, recorded by various artists such as Loretta LynnJohnny CashJim Nabors, and Willie Nelson, to the traditional tune.

 


 

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