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 During this time he wrote a number of unpublished hymn tunes and anthems.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