December 31, 1837, West Ches­ter, Penn­syl­van­ia.

April 10, 1899, Ches­ter, Penn­syl­van­ia.

Rural Cemetery, Ches­ter, Penn­syl­van­ia. A sweet sing­er of Is­ra­el.


John was the son of John H. Swe­ney and Ann Hodg­son. He married twice, to Eliz­a­beth A. Gould and Liz­zie E. Hink­son.

His 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 wrote music for over 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. Galveston
  44. Gather the Reape­rs Home
  45. Glamorganshire
  46. Glorious Day Is Com­ing, The
  47. Glory
  48. Go Work in the Vine­yard
  49. God’s Ho­ly Church Shall Tri­umph
  50. Going Home Re­joic­ing
  51. Golden Key
  52. Good News
  53. Great Judg­ment Day, The
  54. Guatemala
  55. Hamsher High
  56. Handful of Leaves, A
  57. Happy Tid­ings
  58. Have Com­pass­ion, Lord, on Me!
  59. He Feedeth His Flock
  60. He Has Come
  61. He Saves Me
  62. He Saves Me Through and Through
  63. He Set the Joy-Bells Ring­ing
  64. He Will Ga­ther the Wheat
  65. He’ll Do Bet­ter for You
  66. Hillsdale
  67. Hilton Head
  68. His Child For­ev­er­more
  69. His Love Pass­eth Know­ledge
  70. Hokkaido
  71. Holy, Holy, Is What the An­gels Sing
  72. Hour of Pray­er, The
  73. How Oft We Are There
  74. I Have a Friend
  75. I Have En­tered Beu­lah Land
  76. I Live but in Thee
  77. I Shall Have Wings
  78. I Will Shout His Praise in Glo­ry
  79. In the Morn­ing
  80. Is It No­thing to You?
  81. It Is Good to Be Here
  82. Jesus Is Pass­ing By
  83. Jesus, Keep Me Near Thee
  84. Jesus Prom­ised Me a Home
  85. Jesus Will Wel­come Me There
  86. Joyfully Sing
  87. King’s High­way, The
  88. Knock of the Nail-Pierc­èd Hand, The
  89. Lake Tahoe
  90. Launch Out
  91. Lost Are Com­ing Home, The
  92. Lost but Found
  93. Managua
  94. Medan
  95. Midnight Cry, The
  96. More About Je­sus
  97. Morning Draw­eth Nigh, The
  98. Music of the An­gels
  99. My Rest
  100. My Sav­ior First of All
  101. My Soul Shouts Glo­ry
  102. Nagoya
  103. New Song, The
  104. No Cross for Me?
  105. No Shel­ter but in Christ
  106. No Voice but Thine
  107. Not Now, but By and By
  108. Notre Dame
  109. O Bless­èd Word
  110. O Church of God, Arise!
  111. O Fly to Him
  112. O Sin­ner, Come Home
  113. On Let Us Go
  114. On the Hal­le­lu­jah Line
  115. On the Vic­to­ry Side
  116. Only a Beam of Sun­shine
  117. Only Once You Pass This Way
  118. Onward and Up­ward
  119. Onward, Ye Pil­grims
  120. Out in the Sun­shine
  121. Out on the Desert
  122. Palm Springs
  123. Peace to My Soul
  124. Pensacola
  125. Petersburg
  126. Phares
  127. Phinehas
  128. Praise and Mag­ni­fy Our King
  129. Praise, Praise His Name
  130. Precious Mo­ments
  131. Press On, Press On, Ye Work­ers
  132. Rainbow Round the Throne, The
  133. Redeemed, and with the Price of Blood
  134. Rest By and By
  135. Rock in the Des­ert
  136. Room for the World
  137. Safe in the Glo­ry Land
  138. Schindler
  139. Seek Ye First
  140. Send Out the Sun­light
  141. Shanghai
  142. Shepherd’s Fold on High, The
  143. Shining for Je­sus
  144. Shout in the Camp, A
  145. Show Me the Rock
  146. Simple, Ear­nest Pray­er, The
  147. Since I Found My Sav­ior
  148. Sing Once More of Je­sus
  149. Singing of Je­sus
  150. Smile from Je­sus, A
  151. Some Heart Has Gone This Way Be­fore
  152. Speak for Je­sus
  153. Sunshine in the Soul
  154. Standing on the Bat­tle­ments
  155. Step into the Foun­tain
  156. Sweet As­sur­ance
  157. Sweet Sto­ry of Je­sus
  158. Sweeter as the Days Go By
  159. Take Cour­age
  160. Take the World, but Give Me Je­sus
  161. Tasmania
  162. Tell It Out with Glad­ness
  163. Tell Me the Sto­ry of Je­sus
  164. Tell the Bless­èd Sto­ry
  165. Tell the Whole Wide World
  166. There Is No One Like the Sav­ior
  167. There’s a Bless­ing at the Cross for Me
  168. There’s a Hand Held Out
  169. There’s a Mes­sage from the Lord
  170. Thou Wilt Re­mem­ber Me
  171. Thy Hope for Eter­ni­ty
  172. Till the Boat Comes By
  173. ’Tis Sum­mer in My Heart
  174. Trusting in Je­sus
  175. Uganda
  176. Unsearchable Rich­es
  177. Vadodara
  178. Wait on the Lord
  179. Waiting for Me
  180. Waiting for the Prom­ise
  181. Wake, Bro­thers, Wake
  182. Walking in the Good Old Way
  183. Walking with Je­sus My Lord
  184. Washed White as Snow
  185. We All Can Do Good
  186. We Are Near­ing
  187. What More Can He Do?
  188. When Each Oth­er’s Face We See
  189. When Our Ships Come Sail­ing Home
  190. While the Years Are Roll­ing On
  191. Why Lin­ger?
  192. Will There Be Any Stars?
  193. Will You Come?