This hymn shows up several times throughout Our Town. The church choir practices it in Act One, while a choir sings it at George and Emily’s wedding in Act Two. The song is also performed at Emily’s funeral in Act Three, and she comments to Mrs. Gibbs that it was her favorite hymn. As the hymn’s title suggests, it symbolizes the importance of a community that is connected together through various ties. Our Town is an examination of the tight-knit community of Grover’s Corners, which is itself made up of the close communities of individual families. The hymn celebrates these connections—such as marriage—that build strong families and a strong town community.
However, the song can also have a darker significance. It is perhaps ironic in Act Two, as it is sung just as Emily is panicking and saying that she does not want to be bound to George in marriage. In this context, the song is almost menacing, as Emily has little choice but to be connected to George. And in the cemetery of Act Three, the real tie that binds all of us together seems to be our inevitable mortality, as we all die and end up in a cemetery just like the deceased characters. Still, the hymn is, overall, an affirmation of the family and community groups in the play bound together by various ties of family, friendship, and love.