#224 I Have Work Enough to Do

Music & voice:
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Music only:
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1. I have work enough to do,
Ere the sun goes down,
For myself and kindred too,
Ere the sun goes down:
Ev’ry idle whisper stilling
With a purpose firm and willing,
All my daily tasks fulfilling,
Ere the sun goes down.

2. I must speak the loving word,
Ere the sun goes down.
I must let my voice be heard,
Ere the sun goes down:
Ev’ry cry of pity heeding,
For the injured interceding,
To the light the lost ones leading,
Ere the sun goes down.

3. As I journey on my way,
Ere the sun goes down,
God’s commands I must obey,
Ere the sun goes down.
There are sins that need confessing;
There are wrongs that need redressing
If I would obtain the blessing,
Ere the sun goes down.

Text: Josephine Pollard, 1834-1892
Music: William J. Kirkpatrick, 1838-1921

-History: (Source: Wikipedia)

Written By: Josephine Pollard

Music By: William J. Kirkpatrick

William J. Kirkpatrick (February 27, 1838 – September 20, 1921) was born in Duncannon, Pennsylvania to a schoolteacher and musician, Thomas Kirkpatrick. He was exposed to and given formal training in music at a very young age. In 1854, he moved to Philadelphia to study music and carpentry. It was here that he studied vocal music under Professor T. Bishop. Kirkpatrick was a versatile musician playing the cellofifefluteorgan, and violin. He joined the Harmonia and the Hayden Sacred Music Societies where he was exposed to many great composers. In 1855, he became involved in the Wharton Street Methodist Episcopal Church serving the choir with his musical talent and teaching Sunday school.

Beginning in 1858, Kirkpatrick began working with A.S. Jenks who helped him publish his first collection of hymns, Devotional Melodies, in 1859. His involvement with the Harmonia Society introduced him to another man, Dr. Leopold Meignen, under whose tutelage he devoted himself primarily to the study of music focusing on theory and composition.

In 1861, William Kirkpatrick married his first wife. Not long after the marriage, he enlisted in the 91st Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteers as a Fife-Major. This lasted until October 1862, when under general orders, the position was terminated. He returned to Philadelphia and supported his wife by working in carpentry. Over the next 11 years, Kirkpatrick was elected lead organist for the Ebenezer Methodist Episcopal Church, studied the pipe organ, continued in vocal lessons, and began publishing more and more hymns. It was also during this time that he was introduced to John R. Sweeney. They soon became partners in their musical careers. The death of Kirkpatrick’s wife in 1878 acted as a catalyst in his life to give up the trade and devote himself fully to music and composition.

Between 1880 and 1897, Sweeney and Kirkpatrick published 49 major books. It was also during this time that Kirkpatrick was given command over all of the music at Grace Methodist Episcopal church. He married again in 1893 and became a world traveler with his wife. Over the years he published close to 100 major works and many annual works such as Easter and Christmas and children’s choirs.

William J. Kirkpatrick died on September 20, 1921. He told his wife that night that he had a tune running through his head and he wanted to write it down before he lost it. His wife retired to bed and awoke in the middle of the night to find that he was not there. She went to his study to find him, and when she did, he was slumped over on his desk, dead. His interment was located in Philadelphia’s Laurel Hill Cemetery.

Among the many hymns that he contributed to, these are some of the most notable[3]

  1. “A Wonderful Savior is Jesus My Lord”
  2. “Away in a Manger”
  3. “I am Not Skilled to Understand”
  4. “Jesus Saves! (We Have Heard the Joyful Sound)”
  5. “Lead Me to Calvary”
  6. “My Faith has Found a Resting Place”
  7. “‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus”
  8. “Blessed Be Thy Name”
  9. “Halleluiah! Amen!”
  10. “The Comforter Has Come”
  11. “Give Me Thy Heart”
  12. “Lord, I’m Coming Home”
  13. “Redeemed”
  14. “His Grace Aboundeth More”
  15. “Singing I Go”
  16. “O To Be Like Thee”
  17. “He Hideth My Soul”
  18. “We Have an Anchor”
  19. “Stepping in the Light”
  20. The Lord is in His Holy Temple