“How Can I Keep from Singing?” is an odd hymn. The title phrase gives the impression of a wide-eyed universalist anthem of feel-good hope. This is probably the reason it didnt make it past the eagle eyes of the Psalter Hymnals editors and that it has been sung by New Age artists like Enya.
But a deeper look shows a hymn that recognizes both the struggles of life and the hope of faith in Christ. Its really a lovely text.
The music is a different story. Its awfully sprightly, which is probably why my wife hates it. I dont mind the tunes happy energy, as long as its sung with some muscle and not too fast. But Ive also been playing with a new arrangement of the song that brings out the lament of the verses with a minor harmonization, switching to a major key when the refrain proclaims confidently, No storm can shake my inmost calm.