Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.@Luke 13:24

James McGranahan, 1887 (🔊 pdf nwc). The song is annotated Subject from M. E. I.

An active minister in the West in his boyhood attended our meetings in Madison Square Garden, and he says that his soul was thrilled by the singing there. He writes to me, also, of this personal experience: “I was passing through a town where I was known. At the close of a service which I had attended the minister asked me to sing a solo. Picking up ‘Gospel Hymns,’ I sang,

‘Some one will enter the pearly gates—
By and by, by and by…
Shall you? Shall I?’

In the audience was a well-educated man, clearly under the influence of liquor. He afterward said that he forgot or failed to hear the very able sermon. But he heard the song; and for days after ‘Shall you? Shall I?’ kept ringing in his ears, until he finally had to give his heart to God. He is now a faithful minister in the Methodist church.

Sankey, pp. 240-1

portrait
James McGranahan (1840-1907)

Some one will enter the pearly gates—
By and by, by and by,
Taste of the glories that there await,
Shall you? shall I? Shall you? shall I?
Someone will travel the streets of gold,
Beautiful visions will there behold,
Feast on the pleasures so long foretold:
Shall you? shall I? Shall you? shall I?

Someone will gladly his cross lay down
By and by, by and by,
Faithful approved, shall receive a crown,
Shall you? shall I? Shall you? shall I?
Someone the glorious King will see,
Ever from sorrow of earth be free,
Happy with Him thro’ eternity:
Shall you? shall I? Shall you? shall I?

Someone will knock when the door is shut
By and by, by and by,
Hear a voice saying, I know you not,
Shall you? shall I? Shall you? shall I?
Someone will call and shall not be heard,
Vainly will strive when the door is barred,
Someone will fail of the saint’s reward:
Shall you? shall I? Shall you? shall I?

Someone will sing the triumphant song
By and by, by and by,
Join in the praise with the blood-bought throng,
Shall you? shall I? Shall you? shall I?
Someone will greet on the golden shore
Loved ones of earth who have gone before,
Safe in the glory forevermore:
Shall you? shall I? Shall you? shall I?