Sunday, February 24, 2019


Hello, friends!  Happy Sunday.  Today's opening hymn is one of my favorites:  Praise Him, Praise Him, Jesus Our Blessed Redeemer!  It's a happy piece and I can't help but smile as I sing it.

It was written by one of my favorite hymnwriters -- Fanny Crosby.  Let me tell you what I found out about her on

Frances Jane Crosby was born in Southeast, Putnam County, NY on March 24, 1820 to John and Mercy Crosby.  She became blind at the age of six weeks from mistreatment of her eyes during an illness.  When she was eight years old, she moved with her parents to Ridgefield, CT.  When she was 15 years old, she entered the NY Institution for the Blind where she received a good education.  She became a teacher there in 1847 and stayed until March 1, 1858.  She taught English grammar, rhetoric and American history.

This was a great period of development in her life.  During vacations in 1852 and 1853 that she spend in North Reading, MA, she wrote the lyrics to many songs for Dr. George F. Root, the music teacher at the blind institution.  The article goes on to list a great many songs including two cantatas that I have never heard of.  It says that although the songs were popular, people did not know that she wrote them.

Fanny Crosby met Presidents Van Buren and Tyler, Hon. Henry Clay, and other famous men from American history while she was a teacher at the blind institution.  She was also the first woman to ever speak in front of the Senate in Washington, DC.  She read a poem to them.  In all Ms. Crosby wrote over 8,000 poems many of which have been set to music.  Although she was famous for her poetry, it is for her hymns and Sunday School songs that she is remembered.

She was married on March 5, 1858 to Alexander Van Alstyne who was also a teacher at the blind institution.

She began to write Sunday School songs for William B. Bradbury in 1864.  This became a way for her to support herself.  She lived in New York City for most of her life and became employed by Bigelow and Main Company where she composed over 4,000 hymns.  She had a knack of being able to compose at will without special inspiration and her most popular hymns seem to have been composed at the spur of the moment.  She learned to play both the guitar and the piano at the institution and had a clear soprano voice.

Ms. Crosby always claimed that if God had not allowed her to be blind, she would not have had the good education and opportunities which she had.  Instead of seeing her blindness as an affliction, she viewed it as a great blessing.

After finding so much information on Fanny Crosby, I could find so little on the composer of the tune, Chester G. Allen.  He was born in Westford, NY on February 15, 1838 and died in Cooperstown, NY on October 18, 1878.  He was a teacher and composer.  He taught music in the Cleveland, OH public schools and was a long time editor of the New York Musical Gazette.  He also edited and compiled collections of music for schools and churches containing many of his own compositions.

And here is the hymn for you to hear.  I hope it puts a smile on your face as it does mine.


  1. Love this hymn too. Thanks for posting....good way to start the day.

  2. Yes, this is such a joyful hymn, Kathy. I miss singing the familiar hymns, but I enjoy the new songs that my grandchildren love to sing. Thank you for visiting my blog. Have a blessed Sunday.

  3. It does have that lilting melody that makes a person smile. I need lots of those these days and these are good thoughts. Can you imagine being able to compose just because you want to without any special anything happening. A very prolific gal was Fanny and certainly not without her sorrows.

  4. Quite an interesting history about Ms. Crosby. She was really very talented. And quite a lovely hymn. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  5. I've always loved that old hymn. We sang it in my church when I was a child. You wrote a lovely post today. Thank your for sharing it. I also like the picture of you and Joe on the side bar. You both look great!


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