Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29 in music history

On December 29, 1876, gospel composer and singer Philip Paul Bliss died in the Ashtabula (Ohio) Bridge Disaster when the river bridge collapsed as the train he was riding was crossing it. Bliss escaped the train alive, but died in the flames trying to get his wife out of one of the cars. The lyrics for "I will sing of my redeemer" were found in their surviving trunk, and James McGranahan later set it to music.

I don't remember reading of the death of Bliss, though I may have just forgotten it. I noticed it on Today in Christian History. Among my favorite songs are two by P. P. Bliss -- the music to Horatio Spafford's "It is Well with My Soul" and the words & music to "Hallelujah, What a Saviour."

“Man of Sorrows!” what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

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