Scripture Verse

Ye know not when the master of the house cometh. Mark 13:35

Introduction

portrait
Philip P. Bliss
(1838–1876)

Words: Phi­lip P. Bliss, Sun­shine for Sun­day Schools (Cin­cin­na­ti, Ohio: John Church and George F. Root & Sons, 1873).

Music: James Mc­Gra­na­han (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
James McGranahan
(1840–1907)

Origin of the Song

These words, Mr. Bliss has told me, were sug­gest­ed to him in read­ing the book “Gates Ajar” and crit­i­cisms upon it.

His idea was that what we may know from the Scrip­ture, that we shall be with the Lord, is suf­fi­cient, and that we may be hap­pi­ly con­tent in say­ing of all that is mere spe­cu­la­tion, I know not, of­fset­ting it by what we are per­mit­ted to say I know.

The mu­sic for the words was com­posed by his friend, James Mc­Gra­na­han, while vis­it­ing Mr. Bliss.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Bliss loved the song ve­ry much and oft­en sang it to­ge­ther, and have both told me of how the tune came to Mr. Mc­Gran­ahan.

Mr. Bliss had hand­ed him the words and asked him to see what he could get for a tune. He worked up­on it a long time, mak­ing ha­rmo­nies and try­ing to sa­tis­fy him­self with some­thing that would pro­per­ly ex­press the words, but with­out suc­cess.

When sup­per time came he did not care for sup­per, and when bed time came they all went to their rooms leav­ing him in the par­lor at the piano.

He worked away for some time, but, dis­sa­tis­fied with the re­sult, lay down up­on the floor and fell in­to a doze.

Af­ter a little wh­ile he woke up, and the tune, cho­rus and all had come—dif­ferent from the har­mo­nies he had worked up­on, but just the thing.

In the morn­ing he sang it to Bliss, who was de­light­ed with it and im­me­di­at­ely adopt­ed it for use.

Whittle, pp. 134–35

Lyrics

I know not the hour when my Lord will come
To take me away to His own dear home;
But I know that His presence
Will lighten the gloom,
And that will be glory for me.
And that will be glory for me,
Oh, that will be glory for me!
But I know that His presence
Will lighten the gloom,
And that will be glory for me.

I know not the song that the angels sing,
I know not the sound of the harps’ glad ring;
But I know there’ll be mention
Of Jesus our king,
And that will be music for me.
And that will be music for me,
Oh, that will be music for me!
But I know there’ll be mention
Of Jesus our king,
And that will be music for me.

I know not the form of my mansion fair,
I know not the name that I then shall bear;
But I know that my Savior
Will welcome me there,
And that will be Heaven for me.
And that will be Heaven for me,
Oh, that will be Heaven for me.
But I know that my Savior
Will welcome me there,
And that will be Heaven for me.