1837–1899
illustration

December 31, 1837, West Chester, Pennsylvania.

April 10, 1899, Chester, Pennsylvania.

Rural Cemetery, Chester, Pennsylvania.

portrait

Sweney’s musical gift showed itself at an early age. While still a boy, he began to teach music in the public schools and lead Sunday school performances. At age 19, he started studying music in earnest under Professor Bauer, a celebrated German teacher. He took violin and piano lessons, and about this time became a choir leader. He was also in constant demand for children’s concerts and for conducting glee clubs.

At age 22, Sweney was called to teach in Dover, Delaware. When the American civil war broke out, he took charge of the band of the Third Delaware Regiment. After the war, Sweney became Professor of Music at the Pennsylvania Military Academy in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He worked there over 25 years, and received the degrees of Bachelor of Music (1876) and Doctor of Music (1886).

Sweney composed music for more than 1,000 Gospel songs, and collaborated on many collections. His works include:

  1. Sing On
  1. Adopted
  2. All Glory Be Thine
  3. All Is Ready
  4. Almost
  5. Anniversary Song of Praise
  6. Arch Street
  7. As the Bird Flies Home
  8. At the Breaking of the Day
  9. Attainment
  10. Awake! Awake!
  11. Awake, Awake! O Heart of Mine!
  12. Awake, O Zion’s Daughter
  13. Balm in Secret Prayer
  14. Banff
  15. Bells Are Calling, The
  16. Berkeley
  17. Bermuda
  18. Beulah Land
  19. Blest, Blest Forever
  20. Blood Is All My Plea, The
  21. Bratislava
  22. Break Forth, O Joyful Heart
  23. By and By
  24. By the Grace of God We’ll Meet
  25. Calvary
  26. Close Thy Heart No More
  27. Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace
  28. Come in, O Blessèd One
  29. Come, Oh, Come
  30. Coming to Jesus
  31. Conquering Now and Still to Conquer
  32. Côte d’Ivoire
  33. Cova da Iria
  34. Cugnaux
  35. Dalton
  36. Dragicevic
  37. Endure to the End
  38. Everlasting Song, The
  39. Fairer Than the Morning
  40. Falter Not
  41. Faridabad
  42. From the Cross to the Crown
  43. Gather the Reapers Home
  44. Glamorganshire
  45. Glory
  46. Go Work in the Vineyard
  47. God’s Holy Church Shall Triumph
  48. Going Home Rejoicing
  49. Golden Key
  50. Good News
  51. Great Judgment Day, The
  52. Guatemala
  53. Hamsher High
  54. Handful of Leaves, A
  55. Happy Tidings
  56. Have Compassion, Lord, on Me!
  57. He Feedeth His Flock
  58. He Has Come
  59. He Saves Me
  60. He Saves Me Through and Through
  61. He Set the Joy-Bells Ringing
  62. He Will Gather the Wheat
  63. He’ll Do Better for You
  64. Hillsdale
  65. Hilton Head
  66. His Child Forevermore
  67. His Love Passeth Knowledge
  68. Hokkaido
  69. Holy, Holy, Is What the Angels Sing
  70. Hour of Prayer, The
  71. How Oft We Are There
  72. I Have a Friend
  73. I Have Entered Beulah Land
  74. I Live but in Thee
  75. I Shall Have Wings
  76. I Will Shout His Praise in Glory
  77. In the Morning
  78. Is It Nothing to You?
  79. It Is Good to Be Here
  80. Jesus Is Passing By
  81. Jesus, Keep Me Near Thee
  82. Jesus Promised Me a Home
  83. Jesus Will Welcome Me There
  84. Joyfully Sing
  85. King’s Highway, The
  86. Knock of the Nail-Piercèd Hand, The
  87. Lake Tahoe
  88. Launch Out
  89. Lost Are Coming Home, The
  90. Lost but Found
  91. Medan
  92. Midnight Cry, The
  93. More About Jesus
  94. Morning Draweth Nigh, The
  95. Music of the Angels
  96. My Rest
  97. My Savior First of All
  98. My Soul Shouts Glory
  99. Nagoya
  100. New Song, The
  101. No Cross for Me?
  102. No Voice but Thine
  103. Not Now, but By and By
  104. Notre Dame
  105. O Blessèd Word
  106. O Church of God, Arise!
  107. O Fly to Him
  108. O Sinner, Come Home
  109. On Let Us Go
  110. On the Hallelujah Line
  111. On the Victory Side
  112. Only a Beam of Sunshine
  113. Only Once You Pass This Way
  114. Onward and Upward
  115. Onward, Ye Pilgrims
  116. Out in the Sunshine
  117. Out on the Desert
  118. Palm Springs
  119. Peace to My Soul
  120. Pensacola
  121. Petersburg
  122. Phares
  123. Phinehas
  124. Praise and Magnify Our King
  125. Praise, Praise His Name
  126. Precious Moments
  127. Press On, Press On, Ye Workers
  128. Rainbow Round the Throne, The
  129. Redeemed, and with the Price of Blood
  130. Rest By and By
  131. Rock in the Desert
  132. Room for the World
  133. Safe in the Glory Land
  134. Schindler
  135. Seek Ye First
  136. Send Out the Sunlight
  137. Shanghai
  138. Shepherd’s Fold on High, The
  139. Shining for Jesus
  140. Shout in the Camp, A
  141. Show Me the Rock
  142. Simple, Earnest Prayer, The
  143. Since I Found My Savior
  144. Sing Once More of Jesus
  145. Singing of Jesus
  146. Smile from Jesus, A
  147. Some Heart Has Gone This Way Before
  148. Speak for Jesus
  149. Sunshine in the Soul
  150. Standing on the Battlements
  151. Step into the Fountain
  152. Sweet Assurance
  153. Sweet Story of Jesus
  154. Sweeter as the Days Go By
  155. Take Courage
  156. Take the World, but Give Me Jesus
  157. Tasmania
  158. Tell It Out with Gladness
  159. Tell Me the Story of Jesus
  160. Tell the Blessèd Story
  161. Tell the Whole Wide World
  162. There Is No One Like the Savior
  163. There’s a Blessing at the Cross for Me
  164. There’s a Hand Held Out
  165. There’s a Message from the Lord
  166. Thou Wilt Remember Me
  167. Thy Hope for Eternity
  168. Till the Boat Comes By
  169. ’Tis Summer in My Heart
  170. Trusting in Jesus
  171. Uganda
  172. Unsearchable Riches
  173. Vadodara
  174. Wait on the Lord
  175. Waiting for Me
  176. Waiting for the Promise
  177. Wake, Brothers, Wake
  178. Walking in the Good Old Way
  179. Walking with Jesus My Lord
  180. Washed White as Snow
  181. We All Can Do Good
  182. We Are Nearing
  183. What More Can He Do?
  184. When Each Others Face We See
  185. When Our Ships Come Sailing Home
  186. While the Years Are Rolling On
  187. Will There Be Any Stars?
  188. Will You Come?