568

I Will Sing of My Redeemer

Full Text

1 I will sing of my Redeemer
and his wondrous love to me;
on the cruel cross he suffered,
from the curse to set me free.

Refrain:
Sing, oh, sing of my Redeemer,
with his blood he purchased me;
on the cross he sealed my pardon,
paid the debt, and made me free.

2 I will tell the wondrous story
how, my lost estate to save,
in his boundless love and mercy
he the ransom freely gave. [Refrain]

3 I will praise my dear Redeemer,
his triumphant power I'll tell,
how the victory he giveth
over sin and death and hell. [Refrain]

4 I will sing of my Redeemer
and his heavenly love for me;
he from death to life has brought me,
Son of God, with him to be. [Refrain]

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Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

The text is a fine statement in hymn form of Christian teachings on the saving work of Christ, whose atoning death "sealed my pardon, paid the debt, and made me free." The Psalter Hymnal Revision Committee reordered original text into three stanzas to fit the tune HYFRYDOL; the original refrain appears in stanzas 1 and 3.
 
Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

The best-loved expressions of praise for God’s care-taking work of his children comes from the familiar words of Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 1: “My only comfort in life and death [is] that I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil...Because I belong to him, Christ by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes we wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.”
 

This great truth is explained more completely by Belgic Confession, Article 20. God has given his Son to die for us “…by a most perfect love, and raising him to life for our justification, in order that by him, we might have immortality and eternal life.” And in Article 21, “…He endured all this for the forgiveness of our sins.” For this redemptive work we give praise and adoration.

568

I Will Sing of My Redeemer

Tune Information

Name
MY REDEEMER
Key
A♭ Major
Meter
8.7.8.7 refrain 8.7.8.7

Recordings

568

I Will Sing of My Redeemer

Hymn Story/Background

Near the end of 1876, Philip P. Bliss and his wife were traveling to Chicago to sing for the evangelistic services led by Daniel W. Whittle at Dwight L. Moody's Tabernacle. But a train wreck and fire en route claimed their lives. Their trunk, which was spared, contained this hymn text by Bliss.
 
In four stanzas with refrain, the text was set to a gospel tune by James McGranaham who subsequently succeeded Bliss as song leader for Whittle. The text and McGranaham's tune were published in Welcome Tidings, a New Collection far Sunday School, compiled by Robert S. Lowry, William H. Doane, and Ira D. Sankey in 1877.
 
The text is a fine statement in hymn form of Christian teachings on the saving work of Christ, whose atoning death "sealed my pardon, paid the debt, and made me free”.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Philip P. Bliss (b. Clearfield County, PA, 1838; d. Ashtabula, OH, 1876) left home as a young boy to make a living by working on farms and in lumber camps, all while trying to continue his schooling. He was converted at a revival meeting at age twelve. Bliss became an itinerant music teacher, making house calls on horseback during the winter, and during the summer attending the Normal Academy of Music in Genesco, New York. His first song was published in 1864, and in 1868 Dwight L. Moody advised him to become a singing evangelist. For the last two years of his life Bliss traveled with Major D. W. Whittle and led the music at revival meetings in the Midwest and Southern United States. Bliss and Ira D. Sankey published a popular series of hymn collections entitled Gospel Hymns. The first book of the series, Gospel Songs, was published in 1874. 
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

James McGranahan (b. Adamsville, PA, 1840; d. Kinsman, OH, 1907) of Scottish-Irish descent, grew up on the family farm, and his father expected him to become a farmer. Because he wanted to study music, McGranahan hired another person to do the farm work while he earned his own money for music study. He attended William Bradbury's Normal Music School at Geneseo, New York, conducted singing schools in Pennsylvania and New York, and taught at and managed George F. Root's Normal Musical Institution for three summers. In 1877 he became a song leader for evangelist Major D. W. Whittle and toured England and the United States; their association lasted some eleven years. A fine singer himself, McGranahan was one of the first to use male choruses in evangelistic crusades. He published The Gospel Male Choir (1878, 1883) and served as editor and compiler of numerous collections, including Gospel Hymns and Sacred Songs, No. 3-6 (1878-1891) with Ira D. Sankey and George Stebbins.
— Bert Polman

Song Notes

In December, 1876, the great gospel hymn writer, Philip Bliss, and his wife boarded a train home to Pennsylvania after attending an evangelistic meeting in Chicago. As their train crossed over a river in Ashtabula, Ohio, the bridge collapsed and the train fell into the icy river below. Bliss escaped, but when he realized his wife was still in the burning wreck, he went back into the melee to find her. Neither Bliss nor his wife survived. Some of Bliss’ possessions, however, in the front carriages that made it across the bridge unharmed, were later retrieved. Inside one of his trunks, his friends found a new text Bliss had just written, entitled, “I Will Sing of My Redeemer.” It’s said that at the meeting in Chicago, he told the crowd, “I may not pass this way again.” Did he have some inclination that he would soon be meeting his Redeemer? When he penned the words, “he from death to life has brought me, Son of God, with him to be,” did he know he would be making that journey soon? This text is a beautiful parting gift from this well-loved hymn writer, to encourage us one last time to sing unto Him who makes us free. 
— Laura de Jong
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