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When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder
I Corinthians 15:52
ROLL CALL  |  Hymn History  |  Same-Tune Hymns  |  Bible Passage
Author: James M. Black, 1856-1938
Musician: James M. Black, 1856-1938

  Play Music | MP3 • Click to listen to the music for this hymn.

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.

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.

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.



HYMN HISTORY:

As a young man James Black was a Sunday School teacher in a church in Canada. One day he met a girl fourteen years of age, poorly clothed and the child of a drunkard. It was evident that she did not enjoy the nicer things of life that many teenagers enjoyed. Young Black was moved to invite her to attend Sunday school and to join the young people's group. He thought this would be a great blessing and help to her, and might even win her to Christ.

One Sunday, when each member answered the roll call by repeating a Scripture text, the girl failed to respond. This situation brought the thought to Black's mind that it would be a very sad thing if our names are called from the Lamb's Book of Life in heaven and we should be absent. The thought, although not theologically sound, brought this prayer to the lips of Black: 'Oh, God, when my name is called up yonder, may I be there to respond!'

He then longed for something suitable to sing, but found nothing in the books at hand. He closed the meeting that night and, while on his way home, was still wishing that there might be a song that could be sung on such an occasion. All of a sudden the thought came: 'Why don't you write it?' He tried to dismiss the idea, thinking that he could never write such a song.

When Black reached his house, his wife saw that he was deeply troubled and questioned him about his problem, but he did not reply. He only thought of the song that he would like to write. All of a sudden, like a dayspring from on high, the first stanza came in full. He later said that in fifteen minutes he had composed the other two verses. He then went to the piano and played the music just as you will find it in the hymnbooks today- note for note. It has never been changed.

When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more,
When 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.

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.

James M. Black was born in Scotland on February 22, 1882. He was kidnapped at the age of eight and brought to Canada, where he was found by an aged minister and taken to the minister's home. It was not until he was seventeen years of age that he returned to his native Scotland and was reunited with his father and began to be active in Christian service.

Sometime later he returned to America. While on board the ship, on the way over, he heard the news that his home had been burned. Out of this experience came his other beautiful song "Where Jesus Is 'Tis Heaven There." He died in a car accident in Colorado in1948 but will always be remembered for his songs, most especially for "When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder."


OTHER HYMNS with the SAME TUNE:

•   There's an Hour Which No Man Knoweth  Eliza E. Hewitt, 1851-1920


BIBLE PASSAGE:

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.



Richard Caldwell Jr.
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