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 During this time he wrote a number of unpublished hymn tunes and anthems.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