The Swede Carl Gustav Boberg (1859-1840) wrote a poem in 1885 in Swedish entitled O Store Gud which had nine verses, and published it for the first time in 1886. Since then it has been translated into many languages. In 1949 a British missionary called Stuart K. Hine (1889-1999) translated the poem into English. He also added two verses which have remained a part of English versions of the hymn. Apart from the English translation the hymn has been translated into Maori, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Afrikaans, Polish, Romanian, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese. It is sung all round the world and is a popular choice whatever the nationality or language of the congregation singing. The text is always associated with the Swedish folk melody to which it was sung since it was first known. A 2013 BBC survey found it to be the United Kingdom’s most popular hymn.
The tune for Carl Gustav Boberg’s popular hymn ‘How Great Thou Art’.