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Background

The Methodist Hymn-Book Illustrated
John Telford, 1909

A ‘Life of Jesus’ in fifty-five verses. This is Part I, ‘The Story Wanted,’ written January 29, 1866; ‘The Story Told,’ Part II, was written in November of the same year. It has probably been translated into more languages than almost any other child’s hymn. It is an English hymn. Mr. W. H. Doane, of Preston, Connecticut, set it to music at Mr. Sankey’s request, and turned it into an eight-line verse with a chorus. It has become immensely popular, but Miss Hankey greatly deprecated this setting, as each verse is complete in itself. The restoration of the hymn to its true form does justice to the author and the hymn. Her ‘Heart to Heart,’ 1870, was republished, with music by the author, in 1878.

I love to tell the story
Of unseen things above,

is another of her hymns.
#HymnalTitleAuthorTuneComposerVerses
934aAdditional Hymns with Tunes, 1903Tell Me the Old, Old StoryMiss Katherine Hankey (1834-1911)GospelMyles B. Foster (1851-1922)4
934bAdditional Hymns with Tunes, 1903Tell Me the Old, Old StoryMiss Katherine Hankey (1834-1911)ConsolationJohn H. Maunder (1858-1920)4
934cAdditional Hymns with Tunes, 1903Tell Me the Old, Old StoryMiss Katherine Hankey (1834-1911)GreshamCharles J. May (1871-1945)8
192Church Praise, 1907Tell Me the Old, Old StoryMiss Katherine Hankey (1834-1911)RemembranceJosiah Booth (1852-1930)8
682aCongregational Hymnary, 1916Tell Me the Old, Old StoryMiss Katherine Hankey (1834-1911)Tell Me the Old, Old StoryWilliam H. Doane (1832-1915)8
682bCongregational Hymnary, 1916Tell Me the Old, Old StoryMiss Katherine Hankey (1834-1911)RemembranceJosiah Booth (1852-1930)8
170The Church Hymnary (Scotland), 1898Tell Me the Old, Old StoryMiss Katherine Hankey (1834-1911)RemembranceJosiah Booth (1852-1930)8
583The English Hymnal, 1906Tell Me the Old, Old StoryMiss Katherine Hankey (1834-1911)Tell Me the Old, Old StoryWilliam H. Doane (1832-1915)4
448The Hymnal (Presbyterian), 1895Tell Me the Old, Old StoryMiss Katherine Hankey, 1866: refrain added.EvangelistJohn H. Gower, 18954
529The Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common Prayer, Third Edition, 1890Tell Me the Old, Old StoryMiss Katherine Hankey (1834-1911)GospelMiss Katherine Hankey (1834-1911)8
708The Hymnal Revised (Presbyterian), 1911Tell Me the Old, Old StoryMiss Katherine Hankey, 1866: refrain addedEvangelW. Howard Doane, 18693
150The Methodist Hymn-Book, 1904Tell Me the Old, Old StoryMiss Katherine Hankey (1834-1911)College ChapelRev. Arthur E. Sharpley, 19048
071The Mission Hymnal, Enlarged Edition, 1913Tell Me the Old, Old StoryMiss Katherine Hankey (1834-1911)The Old, Old StoryWilliam H. Doane (1832-1915)4
239The New Psalms and Hymns, 1901Tell Me the Old, Old StoryMiss Katherine Hankey, 1866Old, Old StoryWilliam H. Doane, 18704
949The Presbyterian Hymnal, 1874Tell Me the Old, Old StoryMiss Katherine Hankey (1834-1911)The Old, Old StoryWilliam H. Doane (1832-1915)4
174The Scottish Hymnal, 1892Tell Me the Old, Old StoryMiss Katherine Hankey (1834-1911)EvangelWilliam H. Doane (1832-1915)4

The texts from any two of the above sources (assuming two or more exist) can be selected to appear below side by side by selecting the source name from the drop-down lists:

1Tell me the old, old story,
Of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory,
Of Jesus and His love.
Tell me the story simply,
As to a little child,
For I am weak and weary,
And helpless and defiled.
Tell me the old, old story,
Of Jesus and His love.
2Tell me the story slowly,
That I may take it in–
That wonderful redemption,
God’s remedy for sin.
Tell me the story often,
For I forget so soon;
The “early dew” of morning
Has passed away at noon.
Tell me the old, old story,
Of Jesus and His love.
3Tell me the story softly,
With earnest tones and grave;
Remember! I’m the sinner
Whom Jesus came to save.
Tell me that story always,
If you would really be,
In any time of trouble,
A comforter to me.
Tell me the old, old story,
Of Jesus and His love.
4Tell me the same old story,
When you have cause to fear
That this world’s empty glory
Is costing me too dear.
Yes, and when that world’s glory
Is dawning on my soul,
Tell me the old, old story:
“Christ Jesus makes thee whole.”
Tell me the old, old story,
Of Jesus and His love. Amen.
1Tell me the old, old story
Of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory,
Of Jesus and His love.
2Tell me the story simply,
As to a little child;
For I am weak and weary,
And helpless, and defiled.
3Tell me the story slowly,
That I may take it in,
That wonderful redemption,
God’s remedy for sin.
4Tell me the story often,
For I forget so soon;
The early dew of morning
Has passed away at noon.
5Tell me the story softly,
With earnest tones and grave;
Remember I’m the sinner
Whom Jesus came to save.
6Tell me the story always,
If you would really be,
In any time of trouble
A comforter to me.
7Tell me the same old story,
When you have cause to fear
That this world’s empty glory
Is costing me too dear.
8Yes! And, when that world’s glory
Shall dawn upon my soul,
Tell me the old, old story,
‘Christ Jesus makes thee whole.’ Amen.
BookReferenceBible Text
Psalm48:12,1312 Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. 13 Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following.
Luke15:2And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
John1:41He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
John3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John12:21The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.
Ephesians3:19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.
1 Timothy1:15This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
1 Peter1:8Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
1 Peter1:10-1210 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
1 John4:19We love him, because he first loved us.