We'll Understand It Better By and By

Full Text

1. We are tossed and driven
on the restless sea of time;
somber skies and howling tempests
oft succeed a bright sunshine;
in that land of perfect day,
when the mists are rolled away,
we will understand it better by and by.

By and by, when the morning comes,
when the saints of God are gathered home,
we'll tell the story how we've overcome,
for we'll understand it better by and by.

2. We are often destitute
of the things that life demands,
want of food and want of shelter,
thirsty hills and barren lands;
we are trusting in the Lord,
and according to God's word,
we will understand it better by and by. [Refrain]

3. Trials dark on every hand,
and we cannot understand
all the ways of God would lead us
to that blessed promised land;
but he guides us with his eye,
and we'll follow till we die,
for we'll understand it better by and by. [Refrain]

4. Temptations, hidden snares
often take us unawares,
and our hearts are made to bleed
for a thoughtless word or deed;
and we wonder why the test
when we try to do our best,
but we'll understand it better by and by. [Refrain]

Author: Charles Albert Tindley

Charles Albert Tindley was born in Berlin, Maryland, July 7, 1851; son of Charles and Hester Tindley. His father was a slave, and his mother was free. Hester died when he was very young; he was taken in my his mother’s sister Caroline Miller Robbins in order to keep his freedom. It seems that he was expected to work to help the family. In his Book of Sermons (1932), he speaks of being “hired out” as a young boy, “wherever father could place me.” He married Daisy Henry when he was seventeen. Together they had eight children, some of whom would later assist him with the publication of his hymns. Tindley was largely self-taught throughout his lifetime. He learned to read mostly on his own. After he and Daisy moved to Philadelphia… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: We are often tossed and driven on the restless sea of time
Title: We'll Understand It Better By and By
Original Language: English
Author: Charles Albert Tindley (1905)
Meter: Irregular with refrain
Source: Soul Echoes (1905)
Language: English
Refrain First Line: By and by, when the morning comes
Publication Date: 1905
Copyright: This text in in the public domain in the United States because it was published before 1923.


A major variant of this text, altered by B. B. McKinney, is When the Morning Comes (first line "Trials dark on every hand"). It is almost as frequently attested as the original, owing primarily to its widespread use among (especially Southern) Baptists.



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The Cyber Hymnal #7223
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The United Methodist Hymnal #525


Instances (1 - 9 of 9)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
African American Heritage Hymnal #418TextPage Scan
Beams of Heaven: Hymns of Charles Albert Tindley #18Text
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The Cyber Hymnal #7223TextScoreAudio
The New Century Hymnal #444TextPage Scan
The New National Baptist Hymnal #325
The United Methodist Hymnal #525TextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Include 48 pre-1979 instances