[O happy day that fixed my choice]

Composer: William McDonald

McDonald, Rev. William. (Belmont, Maine, March 1, 1820--September 11, 1901, Monrovia, California). Becoming a local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1839 he was admitted to the Maine Conference in 1843, being transferred to that of Wisconsin in 1855 and of New England in 1859. For a number of years he was editor of the Advocate of Christian Holiness. In addition to being a writer of biographies and religious books, he compiled, or assisted in compiling, a number of song books of the gospel song type, among them being the Western Minstrel (1840), Wesleyan Minstrel (1853), Beulah Songs (1870), Tribute of Praise (1874). This last book was that which had been compiled by McDonald and L.F. Snow, and re-edited by Eben Tourjée, appea… Go to person page >

Composer (refrain, attr.): Edward F. Rimbault

(no biographical information available about Edward F. Rimbault.) Go to person page >

Tune Information

Composer: William McDonald
Composer (refrain, attr.): Edward F. Rimbault (1854)
Meter: with refrain
Incipit: 51235 12334 32132
Key: F Major or modal
Source: William McDonald's Wesleyan Sacred Harp
Copyright: Public Domain


This tune is likely the work of the composers named here, but has also been attributed to others as shown in the instances list above.

William J. Reynolds, in his Companion to Baptist Hymnal (1976) writes as follows:

“Happy Day appeared in William McDonald’s Wesleyan Sacred Harp (Boston, 1854), set to “Jesus, my All, to heaven is gone” with the present refrain, “Happy day, happy day, When Jesus washed my sins away!” Doddridge’s hymn was given as an alternate text. It is quite possible that the tune was known prior to this date and appeared in earlier collections. McCutchan indicates that the hymn tune refrain is from a song by Edward F. Rimbault, entitled “Happy Land.” More than likely the rest of the tune was the work of some anonymous musician or musicians.” (p.161)


Baptist Hymnal 1991 #439
Text: O Happy Day That Fixed My Choice
Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #457
  • Four-part harmony, full-score (PDF, NWC)
The Cyber Hymnal #4944
Text: O Happy Day, That Fixed My Choice
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
Timeless Truths #1106
Text: O Happy Day
The United Methodist Hymnal #391
Text: O Happy Day, That Fixed My Choice
Worship and Rejoice #368
Text: O Happy Day


Instances (12)TextImageAudioScoreFlexscore
African American Heritage Hymnal #359Image
Baptist Hymnal 1991 #439TextImageAudioScore
Baptist Hymnal 2008 #574TextImage
Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #457AudioScore
Hinário para o Culto Cristão #297
Hymns of Faith #214TextImage
Sing Joyfully #350TextImage
The Celebration Hymnal: songs and hymns for worship #498Image
The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #532
The United Methodist Hymnal #391TextImageAudioScore
The Worshiping Church #504TextImage
Worship and Rejoice #368TextImageAudioScore