I want to be an angel, And with the angels stand

I want to be an angel, And with the angels stand

Author: Sidney P. Gill
Published in 90 hymnals

Author: Sidney P. Gill

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Text Information

First Line: I want to be an angel, And with the angels stand
Author: Sidney P. Gill

Notes

I want to be an angel. Sidney P. Gill. [For Purity.] In the S. MSS. (W. 50) there is a letter from Mrs. Anna Reed Wilson, of Newark, New Jersey, to Mr. Randolph, of New York, respecting this hymn and its authorship. It is dated "Newark, N.J., Feb. 6th, /73," and in it Mrs. Reed says:—

"My sister's fall name is Miss Sidney P. Gill. (An odd name for a woman, but coming down from a Welsh ancestress.) The hymn was written in Philadelphia when my sister, then a very young lady, taught the Infant Sunday School of Dr. Joel Parker's Church, of which she was a member. She had been teaching a lesson on Angels (I believe), when a lovely little girl exclaimed ‘Oh I want to be an angel.' The child within a few days was attacked by a fatal disease and died; and under the strong impression of the circumstance, the little hymn was written, and sung in the S. School. The first knowledge we had of its being in print was finding it in a Dayton, Ohio, newspaper .... I cannot give you the exact date of its composition, but think it must have been about /54."

This hymn has become a great favourite with children. It is in use in all English-speaking countries, and has been translated into several languages. In some collections it is given as "I would be like an angel." This is especially the case in Great Britain. In the Presbyterian Psalms & Hymns for the Worship of God, Richmond, U. S. A., 1867, the opening line is again altered to “I want to be with Jesus,” but this change is not so popular as the former.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

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I want to be an angel, p. 559, i. Hezekiah Butterworth gives in his work, The Story of the Hymns, N. Y., 1875, p. 151, the date April 19, 1845, as the day of the death of the child, and the child's name as Annie Louisa Farrant.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)

Timeline

Instances

Instances (90)TextImageAudioScoreFlexscore
349 Lieder fuer Schule und Haus in den Vereinigsten Staaten #d105
A Collection of Sabbath School Hymns, compiled by a Sabbath School Teacher #23Image
A Collection of Spiritual Hymns: adapted to the Various Kinds of Christian Worship, and especially designed for the use of the Brethren in Christ. 2nd ed. #638Image
A Companion to the Canadian Sunday School Harp: being a selection of hymns set to music, for Sunday schools and the social circle #17Image
Anniversary and Sabbath School Hymns; or The Child's Sunday School Music Book #d41
Anniversary and Sabbath School Hymns: or, the child's Sunday school music book. Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4, Complete #68bImage
Baptist Harmony #d116
Compilation of Hymns for the Use of the Churches of the Christian Union #d331
Fruits and Flowers #d60
Gesangbuch fuer Deutsche Sonntagsschulen #d90
Glad Tidings: New Hymns and Tunes for Sunday Schools #d38
Happy Voices #d86
Home Song Book, prepared for the use of the Children of the Home for the Friendless #59Image
Hymn Book of the Methodist Protestant Church #S37Image
Hymn Book of the Methodist Protestant Church. (11th ed.) #S37Image
Hymnal for Church, School and Home #d55
Hymnal for Primary Classes: a collection of hymns and tunes, recitations and exercises, being a manual for primary Sunday-schools #112Image
Hymns and Offices of Worship: for use in schools: with an appendix of tunes #263Image
Hymns and Poetry for the Young #d55
Hymns for First-Day Schools #93Image
Hymns for First-Day Schools (Rev. and Enl.) #93Image
Hymns for Schools and Families #30Image
Hymns for Schools and Families #d68
Hymns for Sunday Schools #A35Image
Hymns for Sunday Schools, Youth and Children #169Image
Hymns for Sunday Schools, Youth, and Children #169Image
Hymns for the use of the Sabbath School of the Second Reformed Church, Albany N. Y. #8Image
Hymns, Selected and Original, for Sunday Schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church #d187
Joyful Voices: A New Eclectic Hymn Book #d43
Linden Harp #d52
Linden Harp: a rare collection of popular melodies adapted to sacred and moral songs, original and selected. Illustrated. Also a manual of... #19aImage
Maynard's Sabbath School Echo. 6th ed. of Maynard's Selected Sabbath School Hymns, with an Appendix #d88
Maynard's Selected Sabbath School Hymns. 4th ed. #d84
Muntere Lieder: Eine Sammlung der beliebtesten und brauch-barsten Gesänge für Spmmtagsschulen und andere christlichen Versammlungen. 3. Aufl. #191bImage
Musical Leaves for Sabbath Schools #d58
Offices of Worship and Hymns: principally for use in schools. with an appendix of tunes (2nd and rev. ed.) #263Image
Oriola #d106
Oriola #d107
Palmer's Sabbath School Songs: to which is added an extensive collection of standard and well-known Sunday school hymns #18bImage
Peters' Sodality Hymn Book #97Image
Plymouth Sabbath School Collection: or, Hymns and Tunes #50Image
Popular Hymns for Youth #d67
Revival Songs. 4th ed. #d115
Revival Songs : a new collection of hymns and spiritual songs for closet and family worship, prayer, conference, revival and protracted meetings #136Image
Sabbath School Trumpet #d37
Sacred Songs for Church and Home #d207
School Service Book #d18
Select Hymns for the use of the Mission School of the Madison Square Presbyterian Church #d40
Select Songs No. 2: for the singing service in the prayer meeting; Sunday school; Christian Endeavor meetings #88Image
Sunday School Hymn Book #d182
The American Sunday-School Hymn-Book #339Image
The Anniversary and Sunday School Music Book Nos. 1 and 2 with additions #d21
The Book of Worship #d219
The Canadian Sunday School Harp #d70
The Christian Harmony: in the Seven-Syllable Character Note System. Rev. ed. #d158
The Christian Harp and Sabbath School Songster: designed for the use of the social religious circle, revivals, and the Sabbath school (14th ed.) #80Image
The Church Hymn Book #d235
The Church Hymn Book #d441
The Clariona #d86
The Confederate Sunday School Hymn Book #d56
The Eclectic Sabbath School Hymn Book #44Image
The Eolian Harp #d52
The Eolian Harp: a collection of hymns and tunes for Sunday schools and Band of Hope meetings #21Image
The Evergreen #d37
The Gem #d59
The Hymns of "Happy Voices" (without music) #d86
The Infant-School Hymn-Book #95Image
The Little Minstrel: a collection of songs and music, with lessons of instruction, mathematicall arranged plan of notation #61Image
The New Sabbath School Hosanna: enlarged and improved: a choice collection of popular hymns and tunes, original and selected: for the Sunday school and the family circle... #120aImage
The New Shining Star: a collection of tunes for Sunday Schools #43Image
The Philharmonia, a Collection of Tunes, Adapted to Public and Private Worship #d185
The Plymouth Sabbath School Collection of Hymns and Tunes #220Image
The Prayer Meeting Hymn Book: a Selection of Standard Evangelical Hymns for Prayer and Conference Meetings #d134
The Sabbath Chimes #d123
The Sabbath School Bell: a new collection of choice hymns and tunes, original and standard; carefully and simply arranged as solos, duets, trios, semi-choruses and choruses, and for organ..(Enl. Ed) #32Image
The Sabbath School Gem #d35
The Sabbath School Hosanna #d71
The Sabbath School Hymn Book #d125
The Shining Star : A New Collection of Hymns and Tunes for Sunday Schools #43Image
The Shining Star : A New Collection of Hymns and Tunes for Sunday Schools #53Image
The Singing Book for Boys' and Girls' Meetings: a collection of easy songs and tunes #143Image
The Southern Zion's Songster: Hymns designed for Sabbath Schools, Prayer and Social Meetings #d47
The Star of the East #d80
The Sunday School Chant and Tune Book: a collection of canticles, hymns and carols for the Sunday schools of the Episcopal Church #10Image
The Union Harp and Revival Chorister. Rev ed. #d177
The Violet: a book of music and hymns, with lessons of instruction designed for Sunday Schools, social meetings, and home circles #61Image
The Westminster Collection of Sabbath School Hymns and Tunes #d49
The Young People's Chorister: being a collection of favorite hymns and tunes for Sabbath schools and prayer meetings (New ed.) #40Image
Unser Liederbuch, die schoensten Lieder fuer Schule, Sonntagsschule und Familie #d174
Young Singer's Friend: or, the Lee Avenue collection of hymns and songs, sacred and secular, suitable for Sabbath schools, social circles, children's meetings, concerts, anniversaries, etc. #142Image



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