Friday, 11 November 2011

100 years of William McEwan - The World's Sweetest Gospel Singer

In November 1911, a singer-evangelist from Glasgow called William McEwan (1871 - 1943) recorded 24 hymns for Columbia Records. These are perhaps the first ever gospel recordings in the world. Today McEwan is largely forgotten, but Mark has been researching his life story and is posting it in a series over on his own blog. You can read them by clicking below:

Ayrshire Roots, Glasgow upbringing and early talent

His first trip to America, Fame and Marriage

Conversion, Evangelism, America and the historic 1911 London recording sessions

Stardom in America, a Lucrative Offer Rejected and two Wartime bereavements

More parts will follow over the coming weeks. Meanwhile here is a YouTube video of McEwan's November 1911 recording of "My Ain Countrie":

A am far frae ma hame an A'm weary aftenwhile
For lang'd-for hamebringin' and ma Faither's welcome smile
An A'II ne'er be full content, until ma een dae see
The gowden gates o' Heaven, an' ma ain countrie.

The earth is deck'd w' floo-ers, mony tinted, bright an' gay
The birdies warble blithely, fer ma Faither made thaim sae
But these sights an' these souns wull as naethin be tae me
When A hear the angels singin' in my ain countrie.

A hae His guid word o promise that some glaidsome day the King
Tae His ain royal palace all His ransomed hame will bring
Wi' een an wi' hairt rinnin owre we shall see
The King in aa His beautie in my ain countrie.

Ma sins they hae been mony, an' ma sorrows hae been sair
But there they'll never vex me, nor be remember'd mair
For His bluid has washed me white an His haun shall dry my een
When He brings me hame at last tae my ain countrie.