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 During this time he wrote a number of unpublished hymn tunes and anthems.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. House Springs
  74. I Hope to Meet You All in Glory
  75. I Shall Be No Stranger There
  76. I’ll Bear It, Lord, for Thee
  77. In Bethany
  78. In the Book Which Thou Art Keeping
  79. In the Twinkling of an Eye
  80. Indianapolis
  81. Jacksonville
  82. Jesus Comes
  83. Jesus Only
  84. Jesus Understands!
  85. Jesus Will Listen to Me
  86. Just a Little Sunshine
  87. Kansas City
  88. Keep in the Line
  89. Keep Me Ever Close to Thee
  90. Kirkpatrick
  91. Lake Mead
  92. Landås
  93. Lead Me to Calvary
  94. Let the Light Stream In
  95. Let Us Sing of His Love
  96. Liberia
  97. Like an Army We Are Marching
  98. Like as a Father
  99. Lilliard
  100. Listen to the Blessèd Invitation
  101. Lo! the Golden Fields Are Smiling
  102. Lord, I’m Coming Home
  103. Made Whole
  104. Marching on to Victory
  105. Maui
  106. Meet in the Morning
  107. Meet Me There
  108. Mercy Is Boundless and Free
  109. Minnewaska
  110. Moline
  111. Music and Love
  112. My Heart’s Dear Home
  113. My Light and Song
  114. My Savior Face to Face
  115. No King but Christ
  116. O to Abide in Jesus
  117. O to Be Like Thee!
  118. Oh, for a Heart Whiter Than Snow
  119. Old Fountain, The
  120. On the Cross of Calvary
  121. Only His Love
  122. Open Bible for the World, An
  123. Orlando
  124. Praise Jehovah
  125. Praise Ye the Lord
  126. Promise Way, The
  127. Raleigh
  128. Redeemed
  129. River of Life, The
  130. Royal Fountain, The
  131. Salvation
  132. Sands
  133. Saved to the Uttermost
  134. Saxony
  135. Say! Will You Meet Me There?
  136. Sing, My Soul!
  137. Sing unto God
  138. Singing I Go
  139. Sometime
  140. Speeding Onward
  141. Stepping in the Light
  142. Still Out of Christ
  143. Take the Life-Boat
  144. Tell It Over Again
  145. Ten Thousand Thanks to Jesus
  146. There’s a Blessing for Me
  147. Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, Alone
  148. ’Tis Burning in My Soul
  149. ’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
  150. Toledo
  151. Triumphs of Faith, The
  152. True Shepherd, The
  153. Turn a New Leaf for Me
  154. ’Twill All Be Right at Last
  155. Under the Blood
  156. Very Friend I Need, The
  157. Very Same Jesus, The
  158. Wait, and Murmur Not
  159. Waiting for You and Me
  160. Washed in the Blood of My Redeemer
  161. Watch and Pray
  162. Watchman, Blow the Gospel Trumpet
  163. We Have an Anchor
  164. We Walk by Faith
  165. Welcome for Me
  166. What Will It Matter?
  167. When Love Shines In
  168. When the Bridegroom Comes
  169. When the Curtains Are Lifted
  170. Where Is My Soul Tonight?
  171. Wingate
  172. Wonderful Redeemer
  173. You May Have the Joy-Bells