1820–1895
illustration

Au­gust 30, 1820, Shef­field, Mass­a­chu­setts.

Au­gust 6, 1895, Bai­ley Island, Maine.

Har­mo­ny Vale Ce­me­te­ry, North Read­ing, Mas­sa­chu­setts.

portrait

George was the son of Fred­er­ick F. Root and Sar­ah Flint, hus­band of Ma­ry Ol­ive Wood­man, and fa­ther of Fred­er­ick Wood­man Root.

His mu­sic­al tal­ents were ev­i­dent at an ear­ly age, and by the time he was 13, he was proud that he could play a tune on as ma­ny in­stru­ments as his age.

In 1838, Root moved to Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts, where he stu­died un­der George Webb. In 1845, he moved to New York Ci­ty, play­ing the or­gan at the Church of the Stran­gers, and teach­ing mu­sic at the Ab­bott In­sti­tute for Young La­dies.

In 1850, he toured Eur­ope for a year. Af­ter­ward, he start­ed work­ing with Low­ell Ma­son, at Bos­ton’s Acad­e­my of Mu­sic.

In 1851, Root be­gan com­pos­ing. In 1859, he be­gan work at his broth­er’s com­pany, Root and Ca­dy, in Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois. In 1872, the Un­i­ver­si­ty of Chi­ca­go award­ed him an hon­or­a­ry Doc­tor of Mu­sic de­gree.

Some of Root’s best known sec­u­lar songs are The Bat­tle Cry of Free­dom; Just Be­fore the Bat­tle, Mothe­r; The Old Folks Are Gone; A Hun­dred Years Ago; Old Po­to­mac Shore; Ros­a­lie, the Prair­ie Flow­er; The Va­cant Chair; Ha­zel Dell and There’s Mu­sic in the Air. His other works in­clude:

  1. Along the Ri­ver of Time
  2. Altogether Love­ly
  3. Behold the Bride­groom Com­eth
  4. Clear as Crys­tal
  5. Come to the Sav­ior
  6. He Re­deemed Me
  7. Inasmuch
  8. Narrow and Strait
  9. O the Way Is Long and Wea­ry
  10. O, We Are Vol­un­teers
  11. On This Plea­sant Sab­bath Day
  12. She On­ly Touched the Hem of His Gar­ment
  13. Thou Art My Rock
  14. Which Road Are You Choos­ing?
  15. Why De­lay?
  16. Why Do You Wait?
  17. Why I Sing
  1. Awake, Thou Win­try Earth
  2. Cabulco
  3. Coventry
  4. Ellon
  5. From the Deep Star-La­den Sky
  6. Happy Hearts Child­ren Bring
  7. Hermosa
  8. In Heav­en­ly Pas­tures
  9. Jacinta
  10. Jasper
  11. Jewels
  12. Kinkel
  13. Knocking, Knock­ing, Who Is There?
  14. Lombardia
  15. Lowry
  16. Marne
  17. My Fa­ther Knows
  18. Narrow and Strait
  19. Never from Thee Will We Stray
  20. O Where Are the Reap­ers?
  21. Olsztyn
  22. Rennes
  23. Rialto
  24. Ring the Bells
  25. Rosedale
  26. Salamanca
  27. Savior’s Face, The
  28. Sheridan
  29. Shining Ci­ty
  30. Sinclair
  31. Suffer Lit­tle Child­ren
  32. Suffer the Child­ren
  33. Tramp, Tramp, Tramp
  34. Turn Not Away
  35. Vacant Chair, The
  36. Varina
  37. Valladolid
  38. We Are Watch­ing
  39. We Come in Child­hood’s Joy­ful­ness
  40. Whitechapel
  41. Who Will Send or Go?
  42. Yes, We’ll Meet in the Morn­ing