WHAT A DAY THAT WILL BE                                                       written in 1955

The Story

An orphan girl and a mother-in-law were two inspirations for James Hill (1930 – ) when he wrote this song. Jim never forgot an orphan girl who came to sing at his Baptist church years earlier. She ended her song with the words, “What a day that will be”.

But the immediate influence for this song was Jim’s mother-in-law, who was paralyzed by a stroke when she was only 50 years old. Jim was a new Christian, and he couldn’t understand why this had happened to such a wonderful woman. One day, as he was sitting on his porch thinking about his mother-in-law, the words to this song just came to him.

Jim had never written a song before, so he wasn’t sure how good it was. But, the next time he, his wife, and his wife’s sister went to visit his mother-in-law, they sang it all the way to her home. And when they got there, they sang it again. And, as they sang, for the first time in 3 years, Jim’s mother-in-law smiled and showed signs of excitement.

To Jim, that was a sign that the song was going to be blessed by God. And, since then, the song has been an anthem of encouragement for many people. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:4)

This song has been recorded by more than 1,000 singing groups and individuals.

The Song

            Read this hymn, and – today – imagine what a Day that will be.

There is coming a day when no heart aches shall come,
no more clouds in the sky, no more tears to dim the eye;
all is peace forever more on that happy golden shore.
What a day, glorious day that will be.

What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see,
and I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace;
when He takes me by the hand, and leads me through the Promised Land.
What a day, glorious day that will be.

There’ll be no sorrow there, no more burdens to bear,
no more sickness, no pain, no more parting over there;
and forever I will be with the One who died for me.
What a day, glorious day that will be. (Chorus)


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