Proposed for inclusion in
A better day is coming
Charles A. Tindley and/or Robert Lowry
This hymn's author (and composer of the tune) is sometimes given as Robert Lowry, and sometimes as Charles A. Tindley. The text as attributed to Lowry usually consists of the first, second and fifth of the stanzas given below; whereas the text as attributed to Tindley usually consists of the first, second, third, and fourth stanzas given below. There are minor variations in the two shared stanzas, and in the tune. Before 1979, the Lowry version predominated in the hymnals that had the hymn, whereas since 1979 the Tindley version has had the upper hand. Personally, I could be happy singing all five stanzas. I would be interested in any information clarifying the hymn's history and the roles of Lowry and Tindley in the forms we find it being sung in today.
Hymnary text authority (22 instances, largely Tindley)
Cyber Hymnal page (Lowry; uses tune name WUPPERTAL)1 A better day is coming, The morning draweth nigh, When girded right with holy might Shall overthrow the wrong. When Christ our Lord shall listen To ev'ry plaintive sigh, And stretch His hand o'er every land In justice by and by. Refrain: 'Tis coming by and by, 'Tis coming by and by, A better day is coming, the morning draweth nigh, 'Tis coming by and by, 'Tis coming by and by, The welcome dawn is hastening on, 'Tis coming by and by. 2 The boast of haughty error No more shall fill the land, While men enraged, their pow'rs engaged, To kill their fellow man, But God the Lord shall triumph, And Satan's host shall fly, For wrong must cease and righteousness Shall conquer by and by. [Refrain] 3 No more will angry nations In deadly conflict meet, While children cry and parents die In conquest or defeat, For Jesus Christ the Captain, Will give the battle cry, The Holy Ghost will lead the host To vic'try by and by. [Refrain] 4 No more shall lords and rulers Their helpless victims press, And bar the door against the poor And leave them in distress, But God, the King of Glory, Who hears the ravens cry, Will give command that ev'ry man Have plenty by and by. [Refrain] 5 O for that holy dawning We watch, and wait, and pray, Till o'er the height the morning light Shall drive the gloom away; And when the heavenly glory Shall flood the earth and sky, We'll bless the Lord for all his word, And praise him by and by. [Refrain]
This is a Tindley score, and the text is from a Tindley version except for the fifth stanza, which I added from a Lowry version.
A Better Day Is Coming
YouTube (instrumental w/ lyrics) of Lowry tune (3 stanzas)
MIDI file from The Cyber Hymnal: WUPPERTAL (MIDI)