“When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder”: A Hymn About Hope and Faith 

“When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder” is a cherished Christian hymn that speaks of faith, perseverance, and the promise of eternal life. Let’s explore the lyrics, their meaning, and the enduring legacy of this hymn.

A Song of Faith and Assurance

“When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder” is a powerful ballad that expresses unwavering faith in God’s promise of eternal life. The lyrics offer comfort and assurance to believers, particularly in facing mortality.

The Power of Imagery: The Trumpet Call and the Roll

The song uses evocative imagery. The “trumpet of the Lord” signifies the final judgment, while the “roll” represents the record of one’s life. These images create a sense of awe and anticipation for the heavenly reward.

Yearning for the Heavenly Reward

The lyrics express a longing for the “bright and fair” morning of eternity. The phrase “over on the other shore” symbolizes the heavenly realm, a place of peace and joy awaiting believers.

The Importance of Living a Faithful Life

The repeated refrain, “I’ll be there,” signifies the singer’s commitment to living a life that aligns with their faith. It’s a testament to the importance of leading a righteous life in preparation for the hereafter.

A Hymn Rooted in Community and Fellowship

The song emphasizes the importance of community and shared faith. The lyrics mention “the saved of earth shall gather,” highlighting the shared experience of believers across generations.

A Song Withstanding the Test of Time

“When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder” has been a staple in Christian congregations for over a century. Its enduring popularity is a testament to its timeless message of hope and comfort.

Variations and Contemporary Influence

The hymn has seen numerous variations over the years, with different melodies and even additional verses. Its influence can also be felt in contemporary Christian music, where themes of faith and the afterlife continue to resonate.


“When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder” is more than just a hymn; it’s a powerful expression of faith and a source of comfort for generations of believers. The song’s enduring message of hope and the promise of eternal life continue to inspire and uplift.


  • Who wrote “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder”?

The exact authorship of the hymn remains unclear. However, Reverend James M. Black is often credited with popularizing it in the early 20th century.

  • What is the genre of “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder”?

The hymn falls under the genre of Christian gospel music.

  • Is there a specific melody associated with the hymn?

While there are several variations, the most commonly sung melody is a simple and uplifting tune.

  • What are some other popular renditions of the hymn?

The song has been covered by numerous gospel artists, with notable versions by Mahalia Jackson and The Gaither Vocal Band.

  • Is “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder” still sung in churches today?

Yes, the hymn remains a popular choice for congregational singing in many Christian denominations.

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