August 30, 1820, Shef­field, Mass­a­chu­setts.

August 6, 1895, Bai­ley Island, Maine.

Harmony Vale Cemetery, North Read­ing, Mas­sa­chu­setts.


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