Scripture Verse

In My Father’s house there are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. John 14:2


Sanford F. Bennett

Words: San­ford F. Ben­nett, in The Sig­net Ring, by Jo­seph Web­ster (Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois: Ly­on & Hea­ly, 1868), pag­es 90–91. This song was sung in the 1941 Aca­de­my Award win­ning mo­vie Ser­geant York.

Music: Sweet By and By Jo­seph P. Web­ster (🔊 pdf nwc).

Joseph P. Webster

Origin of the Song

Mr. Web­ster, like many mu­si­cians, was of an ex­ceed­ing­ly ner­vous and sens­i­tive na­ture, and sub­ject to pe­ri­ods of de­pres­sion, in which he looked up­on the dark side of all things in life.

I had learned his pe­cul­i­ar­i­ties so well that on meet­ing him I could tell at a glance if he was mel­an­cho­ly, and had found that I could rouse him up by giv­ing him a new song to work on.

He came in­to my place of bus­i­ness [in Elk­horn, Wis­con­sin], walked down to the stove, and turned his back on me with­out speak­ing. I was at my desk. Turning to him, I said, Web­ster, what is the mat­ter now? It’s no mat­ter, he re­plied, it will be all right by and by.

The idea of the hymn came me like a flash of sun­light, and I re­plied, The Sweet By and By! Why would not that make a good hymn? May­be it would, he said in­dif­fer­ent­ly.

Turning to my desk I penned the words of the hymn as fast as I could write. I hand­ed the words to Web­ster. As he read his eyes kin­dled, and step­ping to the desk he be­gan writ­ing the notes.

Taking his vi­o­lin, he played the me­lo­dy and then jot­ted down the notes of the cho­rus. It was not ov­er thir­ty min­utes from the time I took my pen to write the words be­fore two friends with Web­ster and my­self were sing­ing the hymn.

Sanford Fill­more Ben­nett


There’s a land that is fairer than day,
And by faith we can see it afar;
For the Father waits over the way
To prepare us a dwelling place there.


In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.

We shall sing on that beautiful shore
The melodious songs of the blessed;
And our spirits shall sorrow no more,
Not a sigh for the blessing of rest.


To our bountiful Father above,
We will offer our tribute of praise
For the glorious gift of His love
And the blessings that hallow our days.