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 During this time he wrote a number of unpublished hymn tunes and anthems.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