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 During this time he wrote a number of unpublished hymn tunes and anthems.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. Akolo
  3. All over the World
  4. Alone with God
  5. Anaheim
  6. Annetta
  7. Are You Coming to the Feast?
  8. At the Mercy Seat
  9. Bangkok
  10. Beautiful Hills of Rest
  11. Beautiful Robes
  12. Beautiful Sabbath
  13. Becontree
  14. Bells of Eternity, The
  15. Beneath His Sheltering Wings
  16. Blackfriars
  17. Blessed Be the Name
  18. Blessèd Old Story of Love
  19. Blessing in Prayer, A
  20. Braintree
  21. Buda
  22. Buried with Christ
  23. By Grace I Will
  24. Calling for You
  25. Calvary’s Stream Is Flowing
  26. Carradale
  27. Christ Is Risen
  28. City Beyond, The
  29. Close to Thy Cross, O Christ
  30. Closer Walk with Thee
  31. Come, for All Things Are Ready
  32. Come, Lord, and Let Thy Pow’r
  33. Comforter Has Come, The
  34. Coming Home
  35. Companionship with Jesus
  36. Cozumel
  37. Cradle Song
  38. Crispus
  39. Darmstadt
  40. Dear Jesus, Canst Thou Help Me?
  41. Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd
  42. Deeper Yet
  43. Dortmund
  44. Every Word I Believe
  45. Fall River
  46. Famous Eagle
  47. Farmington
  48. Father All Holy
  49. For Christ and the Church
  50. Freedom in Jesus
  51. Friesen
  52. Full Surrender
  53. Gathering Out of Tears
  54. Gdynia
  55. Gibraltar
  56. Giggleswick
  57. Give Me Thy Heart
  58. Glory in My Soul
  59. Glory to God, Hallelujah
  60. Go, Study the Bible
  61. God So Loved the World
  62. God’s Word
  63. Golden Bells, The
  64. Grace Is Free
  65. Grand Old Story of Salvation, The
  66. Gujarat
  67. Hainault
  68. Hallelujah! Amen!
  69. Happy Crowning Day, The
  70. Hear and Answer Prayer
  71. He Came to Save Me
  72. He Died for Thee
  73. He Hideth My Soul
  74. He Is All in All to Me
  75. Healing at the Fountain
  76. Healing Touch, The
  77. He’ll Come Again
  78. He’ll Come and Tarry Not
  79. His Blood
  80. His Grace Aboundeth More
  81. Home at Last
  82. Hounslow
  83. House Springs
  84. I Hope to Meet You All in Glory
  85. I Shall Be No Stranger There
  86. I’ll Bear It, Lord, for Thee
  87. In Bethany
  88. In the Book Which Thou Art Keeping
  89. In the Twinkling of an Eye
  90. Indianapolis
  91. Jacksonville
  92. Jesus Comes
  93. Jesus Only
  94. Jesus Understands!
  95. Jesus Will Listen to Me
  96. Just a Little Sunshine
  97. Kansas City
  98. Keep in the Line
  99. Keep Me Ever Close to Thee
  100. Kirkpatrick
  101. Lake Mead
  102. Landås
  103. Lead Me to Calvary
  104. Let the Light Stream In
  105. Let Us Sing of His Love
  106. Liberia
  107. Like an Army We Are Marching
  108. Like as a Father
  109. Lilliard
  110. Listen to the Blessèd Invitation
  111. Lo! the Golden Fields Are Smiling
  112. Lord, I’m Coming Home
  113. Made Whole
  114. Marching on to Victory
  115. Maui
  116. Meet in the Morning
  117. Meet Me There
  118. Mercy Is Boundless and Free
  119. Minnewaska
  120. Moline
  121. More Faith in Jesus
  122. Music and Love
  123. My Heart’s Dear Home
  124. My Light and Song
  125. My Savior Face to Face
  126. No King but Christ
  127. None Can Help Like Jesus
  128. O to Abide in Jesus
  129. O to Be Like Thee!
  130. Oh, for a Heart Whiter Than Snow
  131. Old Fountain, The
  132. On the Cross of Calvary
  133. Only Believe
  134. Only His Love
  135. Open Bible for the World, An
  136. Orlando
  137. Praise Jehovah
  138. Praise Ye the Lord
  139. Promise Way, The
  140. Promised Land (Gill), The
  141. Raleigh
  142. Redeemed
  143. River of Life, The
  144. Riverside
  145. Royal Fountain, The
  146. Salvation
  147. Salvation’s Story
  148. Sands
  149. Save One
  150. Saved to the Uttermost
  151. Saxony
  152. Say! Will You Meet Me There?
  153. Sing, My Soul!
  154. Sing unto God
  155. Singing I Go
  156. Sometime
  157. Speeding Onward
  158. Stepping in the Light
  159. Still Out of Christ
  160. Take the Life-Boat
  161. Tell It Over Again
  162. Ten Thousand Thanks to Jesus
  163. There’s a Blessing for Me
  164. There’s Power in Jesus’ Blood
  165. Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, Alone
  166. ’Tis Burning in My Soul
  167. ’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
  168. Toledo
  169. Triumphs of Faith, The
  170. True Shepherd, The
  171. Turn a New Leaf for Me
  172. ’Twill All Be Right at Last
  173. Under the Blood
  174. Valley of Rest
  175. Very Friend I Need, The
  176. Very Same Jesus, The
  177. Vienne
  178. Wait, and Murmur Not
  179. Waiting for You and Me
  180. Washed in the Blood of My Redeemer
  181. Watch and Pray
  182. Watchman, Blow the Gospel Trumpet
  183. We Have an Anchor
  184. We Walk by Faith
  185. Welcome for Me
  186. What Will It Matter?
  187. When Love Shines In
  188. When the Bridegroom Comes
  189. When the Curtains Are Lifted
  190. Where Is My Soul Tonight?
  191. Wingate
  192. Wonderful Redeemer
  193. You May Have the Joy-Bells