This song makes me think of my dad, who would make us sing the first verse softly and then JUMP up during the chorus.
His own experience with the song is this: Dr. Jim Blackmore, one of my seminary professors. He was from very humble beginnings in Warsaw, NC. He had been to Southern [Seminary] and was at Edinburgh, Scotland when WWII started. At least the US involvement. He joined the service there as a chaplin and was not required to go to basic training. He served through the war and finished his Doctorate at Edinburgh after the war.