February 27, 1838, Duncannon, Pennsylvania.

September 20, 1921, Pelham Court Hotel, Germantown, Pennsylvania.

West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.

Annie F. Bourne.


Son of a school teacher and musician, Kirkpatrick grew up in a musical atmosphere. In 1854, he went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to study music and learn a trade; he spent over three years as a carpenter. But he was more interested in music than mechanics, devoting all his leisure time to its study. His ambition at the time was to become a violinist.

In 1855, Kirkpatrick joined the Wharton Street Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, and from then on devoted himself mostly to sacred music, giving his services to the choir and Sunday school. As there were few church organs in that day, his violin and cello were in constant demand for choir rehearsals, singing societies, and church programs. During this time he wrote a number of unpublished hymn tunes and anthems.

Kirkpatrick married Susanna Doak in 1861, and had three children with her, including hymnist May D. Kirkpatrick. Following Susanna’s death, he married Sarah Kellog Bourne in 1893. After Sarah died in 1917, he married Lizzie Sweney, widow of John R. Sweney.

In 1861, at the start of the American civil war, Kirkpatrick enlisted in the army as a Fife Major. He was discharged the next year, apparently because of the act of Congress ending regimental bands.

Kirkpatrick studied vocal music under Professor T. Bishop, then a leading oratorio and ballad singer. He became a member of the Harmonia and Handel and Haydn Sacred Music Societies, where he heard the greatest singers of the day and became familiar with the principal choral works of the great composers. Kirkpatrick’s first published composition was When the Spark of Life Is Waning, which appeared around 1858 in the Musical Pioneer in New York. He went on to publish about 50 hymn collections, including:

  1. Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?
  1. Albuquerque
  2. All over the World
  3. Alone with God
  4. Anaheim
  5. Annetta
  6. Are You Coming to the Feast?
  7. At the Mercy Seat
  8. Bangkok
  9. Beautiful Hills of Rest
  10. Beautiful Robes
  11. Beautiful Sabbath
  12. Becontree
  13. Bells of Eternity, The
  14. Beneath His Sheltering Wings
  15. Blackfriars
  16. Blessed Be the Name
  17. Blessèd Old Story of Love
  18. Blessing in Prayer, A
  19. Braintree
  20. Buda
  21. Buried with Christ
  22. By Grace I Will
  23. Calling for You
  24. Calvary’s Stream Is Flowing
  25. City Beyond, The
  26. Close to Thy Cross, O Christ
  27. Come, for All Things Are Ready
  28. Come, Lord, and Let Thy Pow’r
  29. Comforter Has Come, The
  30. Coming Home
  31. Companionship with Jesus
  32. Cozumel
  33. Cradle Song
  34. Crispus
  35. Darmstadt
  36. Dear Jesus, Canst Thou Help Me?
  37. Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd
  38. Deeper Yet
  39. Dortmund
  40. Every Word I Believe
  41. Famous Eagle
  42. Farmington
  43. Father All Holy
  44. Freedom in Jesus
  45. Friesen
  46. Full Surrender
  47. Gathering Out of Tears
  48. Gibraltar
  49. Giggleswick
  50. Give Me Thy Heart
  51. Glory in My Soul
  52. Glory to God, Hallelujah
  53. Go, Study the Bible
  54. God So Loved the World
  55. God’s Word
  56. Golden Bells, The
  57. Greenwell
  58. Hainault
  59. Hallelujah! Amen!
  60. Happy Crowning Day, The
  61. Hear and Answer Prayer
  62. He Came to Save Me
  63. He Died for Thee
  64. He Hideth My Soul
  65. He Is All in All to Me
  66. Healing at the Fountain
  67. Healing Touch, The
  68. He’ll Come and Tarry Not
  69. His Blood
  70. His Grace Aboundeth More
  71. Home at Last
  72. Hounslow
  73. I Hope to Meet You All in Glory
  74. I Shall Be No Stranger There
  75. I’ll Bear It, Lord, for Thee
  76. In Bethany
  77. In the Book Which Thou Art Keeping
  78. In the Twinkling of an Eye
  79. Indianapolis
  80. Jacksonville
  81. Jesus Comes
  82. Jesus Only
  83. Jesus Understands!
  84. Jesus Will Listen to Me
  85. Just a Little Sunshine
  86. Kansas City
  87. Keep in the Line
  88. Keep Me Ever Close to Thee
  89. Kirkpatrick
  90. Lake Mead
  91. Landås
  92. Lead Me to Calvary
  93. Let the Light Stream In
  94. Let Us Sing of His Love
  95. Liberia
  96. Like an Army We Are Marching
  97. Like as a Father
  98. Lilliard
  99. Listen to the Blessèd Invitation
  100. Lo! the Golden Fields Are Smiling
  101. Lord, I’m Coming Home
  102. Made Whole
  103. Maui
  104. Meet in the Morning
  105. Meet Me There
  106. Mercy Is Boundless and Free
  107. Minnewaska
  108. Moline
  109. Music and Love
  110. My Heart’s Dear Home
  111. My Light and Song
  112. My Savior Face to Face
  113. No King but Christ
  114. O to Abide in Jesus
  115. O to Be Like Thee!
  116. Oh, for a Heart Whiter Than Snow
  117. Old Fountain, The
  118. On the Cross of Calvary
  119. Only His Love
  120. Open Bible for the World, An
  121. Orlando
  122. Praise Jehovah
  123. Praise Ye the Lord
  124. Promise Way, The
  125. Raleigh
  126. Redeemed
  127. River of Life, The
  128. Royal Fountain, The
  129. Salvation
  130. Sands
  131. Saved to the Uttermost
  132. Saxony
  133. Say! Will You Meet Me There?
  134. Sing, My Soul!
  135. Sing unto God
  136. Singing I Go
  137. Sometime
  138. Speeding Onward
  139. Stepping in the Light
  140. Still Out of Christ
  141. Take the Life-Boat
  142. Tell It Over Again
  143. Ten Thousand Thanks to Jesus
  144. There’s a Blessing for Me
  145. Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, Alone
  146. ’Tis Burning in My Soul
  147. ’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
  148. Toledo
  149. Triumphs of Faith, The
  150. True Shepherd, The
  151. Turn a New Leaf for Me
  152. ’Twill All Be Right at Last
  153. Under the Blood
  154. Very Friend I Need, The
  155. Very Same Jesus, The
  156. Wait, and Murmur Not
  157. Waiting for You and Me
  158. Washed in the Blood of My Redeemer
  159. Watch and Pray
  160. Watchman, Blow the Gospel Trumpet
  161. We Have an Anchor
  162. We Walk by Faith
  163. Welcome for Me
  164. What Will It Matter?
  165. When Love Shines In
  166. When the Bridegroom Comes
  167. When the Curtains Are Lifted
  168. Where Is My Soul Tonight?
  169. Wingate
  170. Wonderful Redeemer
  171. You May Have the Joy-Bells