The Music of Philip Paul Bliss
Philip Paul Bliss

    Philip Paul Bliss was born in Clearfield County, PA on 9 July 1838 to the parents of Isaac Bliss (1757-1864) and Lydia Dolittle. He had three sisters: Phoebe, Reliance, and Elizabeth; and one brother: James D. He married on 1 June 1859 to Lucy J. Young and they had two children. He died, in a train wreck with his wife, on 29 December 1876 in Ashtabula, OH, at the age of 38. He occasionaly used the pseudonym of Pro Phundo Basso. He was a contemporary of, and fellow Normal Musical Institute singer with, George Frederick Root, Frederic Woodman Root, and Thomas Martin Towne.

    His most popular song was Hold the Fort! (1870) which was based on the events of a Civil War battle in October 1864 near Atlanta, GA. He is especially noted for his hymns and character songs. Among his most popular hymns were I Am So Glad, Daniel's Band, More to Follow, Free From the Law, Whosoever Will, Man of Sorrows, Almost Persuaded, I Know Not the Hour, and Meet Me at the Fountain.

    Read comtemporary commentary about him here.

    I especially thank Charles Wolff, and this webpage The Lester S. Levy Collection by Box/Item number or just with the word "Levy;" the Library of Congress' LCCN number (which can be used to request copies from the Photoduplication Services Division there); or if just labeled "LoC" then it is available as digitized images from the American Memories webpages at the Library of Congress, and numbers used with that abbreviation represent copyright registration numbers. The Triumph is a 398 page songbook collection from 1868 by George F. Root.

Songs, Hymns, and Instrumentals

Title Words Source*
My Grandfather's Bible (A Centennial Song) Bliss unk84-148809; P. P. Bliss Song Writer: pp. 165-170
Lora Vale Bliss --
Good Bye, Jeff (Song & Chorus) [25 Mar] Bliss 100004768@HSM/LoC
Grand Vocal Medley (arr.) various 052/020
Mr. Lordly and I; or, The Difference
(Parody on Mrs. Lofty & I
Bliss 053/004
The Photograph; or, Not at All Like Me
(Duet for Husband & Wife) [2 Sep.]
Bliss [M1552.B]; unk84-49086
The Tragical Tale; or, Poor Thomas Maltese
(a catastrophic dirge)
Bliss unk84-176251
Banner. 7s & 6s. [9 June] Bliss The Triumph: p.247
Can You Sing? [9 June] Bliss The Triumph: p.100
Chicago Street-Cries (Round, in Six Parts) [9 June] Bliss The Triumph: p.130
Curtis. H. M. [9 June] Bliss The Triumph: p.256
Daughter of Zion [9 June] Bliss The Triumph: p.345
Elijah and I [9 June] Bliss The Triumph: p.149
He's Gone (In Memory of Wm. B. Bradbury) [9 June] Bliss The Triumph: p.370
Just Like Love [9 June] Bliss The Triumph: p.86
Look and Live [9 Jun] Bliss The Triumph: p.285
Murray's Chant. L. M. [9 June] Bliss The Triumph: p.163
Oakwood. L. M. [9 June] Bliss The Triumph: p.166
Ogle County. C. M. [9 June] Bliss The Triumph: p.193
Put on the Whole Armor [9 June] Bliss The Triumph: p.318
Redwing. C. M. [9 June] Bliss The Triumph: p.195
Sorrow. 5s & 3s. [9 June] Bliss The Triumph: p.254
This Is My Commandment [9 June] Bliss The Triumph: p.288
Nellie Brundage Jennie Fish The Pacific Glee Book: p. 7
My Love, She (Trio, for similar voices) [by "Pro Phundo Basso"] Bliss The Pacific Glee Book: p. 21
Wake Up, Sweet Melody Bliss The Pacific Glee Book: p. 28
Ho, for the Spring Time! (Glee) Bliss The Pacific Glee Book: p. 46
Hear Ye Not the Wood Bird's Song Bliss The Pacific Glee Book: p. 52
O, If I Had to be a Bird (Quartet for Male Voices) [by "Pro Phundo Basso") Bliss The Pacific Glee Book: p. 109
The Onset (For Male Voices) Bliss The Pacific Glee Book: p. 185
Give Duff Porter The Pacific Glee Book: p. 188
Oh Haste to the Woodland (Trio for male voices) Bliss The Pacific Glee Book: p. 202
Poor Jilted Jonathan [see 1875 song version below] Bliss The Pacific Glee Book: p. 238
The Grave by the Lake> Rev. Mr. Kenton, N. Rutland, IL The Pacific Glee Book: p. 240
Bonapo (A Medley) Bliss LoC
Brave Battery Boys [21 May] Paulina DuPre Our National War Songs (1884): p. 135
Hold the Fort! Bliss LoC
from THE PRIZE by Geo. F. Root
Press Forward Bliss p. 3
"Whosoever Will" Bliss p. 7
Another Week Is Past Bliss p. 17
Peter's Denial Bliss p. 50
Lord, Save Me Bliss p. 54
Once More With Mournful Step Bliss p. 56
Naught to Charges False Bliss p. 66
The Ascension Bliss p. 70-71
Bethesda Bliss p. 77
There's a Light in the Valley Bliss p. 86-87
Hosanna! Hosanna! Bliss p. 90
The Triumph Kate Cameron p. 92
Safe With the Master Bliss p. 103
The Beggar by the Way Side Bliss p. 112-113
I Must Abide With Thee (Zaccheus) Bliss p. 115
"And Yet There Is Room" Bliss p. 1??
Remembered (subject from BONAR) Bliss p. 126-127
Follow Me Bliss p. 130
Look and Live Bliss p. 135
Only Believe Bliss p. 138
What Shall the Harvest Be? Mrs. Emily S. Oakey, 1850, alt. [Words suggested by D. Haydn Lloyd] p. 146-147 from The Prize (1870); reprinted in Gospel Hymns and Sacred Songs (1875)
We Love Him (The children's tribute to the memory of WILLIAM B. BRADBURY.) Bliss p. 180-181
Look Not Upon the Wine Bliss p. 154-155
The Spirit Tree Bliss p. 156-157
Beautiful Rain Bliss p. 164-165
Love One Another Bliss p. 170-171
If Papa Were Only Ready Bliss p. 178-179
Ruth and Naomi Bliss p. 183-185
Almost Persuaded Bliss reprinted as No. 173 from Uplifting Songs, Old and New, 1896
Baby's Sweet Sleep [18 May] Miss Maggie Warren 04653@LoC
Bessie Lee (The Highland Lassie) (Scotch Song) [7 Jul] Rev. Robert Lowrie LoC
Loving Little You Bliss 06999@LoC
Roll, On, Roll On, Billow of Fire [4 Dec.] Bliss 11493@LoC
Sweetly, Softly (Quartette) [16 Aug] Bliss 07664@LoC
The Temp'rance Ship (Song & Chorus) [5 Jul] Bliss 100004769@HSM/LoC
When Jesus Comes (Melody With Variations by Clarence D. Rose [1882]) -- LoC; 1882-08791@LoC
Hope for Our Horses Bliss LoC; unk84-62927
Lighting the Shealing [24 Nov] Paulina Dupre 12341@LoC
Life's Indian Summer [12 Aug] (Ballad) (Character Song) Paulina Dupre 09147@LoC
The Professor at Home (Character Song) Bliss LoC
Bring Me the Bowl (Duet for Soprano and Base Paulina Dupre 06582@LoC
Darling Cora Bell (Duett and Chorus) D. O. Lantz 10990LoC
David and Goliath (Duet for Base and Tenor) Bliss 06583LoC
My Heart and My Tree (Quartet) Bliss 06587@LoC
Pull for the Shore (Song and Chorus) Bliss 06588LoC
Sire and Son; or, The Quaker's Farewell (Duet, Tenor and Bass) Bliss 06589LoC
The Elopement Bliss LoC
The Faithful Engineer Bliss 057/111
There's Monny a Shlip (Irish Song) Bliss LoC
The Ninety and Nine Bliss 134/002
Ah, My Heart [11 Oct] Tr. John M. Neale 10453@LoC
Arise, Go Over Jordan! -- LoC
Boys Wanted (Song and Chorus) Bliss 04801LoC; unk84-43441
Christ the Fountain -- LoC
Hallelujah, What a Saviour! -- LoC
Ho, Everyone that Thirsteth -- LoC
If Papa Were Only Ready (Arr. for the Guitar by Justin Holland) Bliss 03566@LoC
It Winna! Be for Lang -- LoC
My Refuge (Hymn) Bliss LoC
No Other Name [Hymn] Bliss 02436@LoC
Poor Jilted Jonathan (Humorous Song and Chorus) Bliss 07047@LoC; [first published in 1869 from "The Pacific Glee Book"]
Purity, Power, Peace (Hymn) Bliss LoC
Say No! (Song and Chorus) Mrs. D. A. Beale 04810@LoC
Simple Sandie's Sang and Story (Scotch Song) anonymous 135/006@Levy
Sing, My Soul (Hymn) Bliss LoC
The First Christmas Song Paulina DuPre 13736@LoC
The Holy Spirit -- LoC
The Light of the World Is Jesus -- LoC
The New Song [11 Oct] Rev. A. T. Pierson 10458@LoC
The Sword of the Lord and of Gideon -- LoC
We're Going Home To-Morrow -- LoC
Where Are the Nine? -- LoC
Where Hast Thou Gleaned To-day? -- LoC
Wonderful Words of Life (Sacred Song) Bliss 07928@LoC
Arise and Shine! -- LoC
Hold the Fort for Hayes and Wheeler
(campaign song)
[for music see above, for 1870 original version]
Mary E. Kail 007/168
Waiting and Watching for Me (Solo with Chorus) (Arr, by D. Angelo) F. J. Hartley 13823@LoC
Almost Persuaded (Arranged with Variations by M. Boucher Spivey) none 15512@LoC
The Billow of Fire Bliss 179/003
Carefully, Tearfully; or, The Sinner's Approach to Christ -- LoC
Come, Come and See -- LoC
God's Anvil [and] Blessed Are the Peacemakers -- LoC
Looking Up to Jesus -- LoC
Lord Come Away! -- LoC
My Redeemer -- LoC
Paul and Silas -- LoC
Sounds of the Singing School Bliss The New Song Era: p. 43
Tell Me More About Jesus -- LoC
Why Should I Wait? -- LoC
Within, About, Above -- LoC
Work for Your Master -- LoC
Lora Vale [piano solo; compare to the 1865 original song] none 05003@LoC
Wish You Merry Christmas [18 Oct] Bliss 1882-21530@LoC
n. d. (not dated)
Lower Lights (Hymn)
[Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy]
Bliss Methodist Hymnal


Year Title Comments Source*
1871 The Crown of Sunday School Songs Edited by Lee H. Dowling (1844-?); composed by George Frederick Root (1820-1895), and Bliss; 160 p. 13 x 16 cm. 45-23087
1873 The Joy 191 [1] o. obl. cm. unk84-94415
1875 Einige Evanglische Hymnen und Gottesdienstliche Gesange composed by Bliss; 2 v. unk84-59652
Gospel Hymns and Sacred Songs 112 p. 21 cm. 45-41979
Gospel Hymns and Sacred Songs
(words only)
Bliss and Ira David Sankee (1840-1908); 95 p. 12 cm. 45-41236
1876 Gospel Hymns No. 2 96 p. 12 cm. 40-19239
Gospel Hymns No. 2 112 p. 21 cm. 46-34475


Edited by D. W. Whittle, contributions by E. P. Dodwin, Ira D. Sanke and George F. Root. Intro. by D. L. Moody; 367 p. ltf91-69539
Songs of P. P. Bliss 80 p. unk84-75559
1879 Gospel Hymns Combined 228 p. 12 cm. 45-41135
1880 Gospel Hymns Combined 256 p. 18 cm. 45-41134
1883 Gospel Hymns Consolidated 304 o. 12.5 cm. 45-41326
Gospel Hymns Consolidated 400 p. 21 cm. 45-41316
1884 Gospel Hymns Consolidated 3-126 p. 13 cm. 40-15491
1895 Gospel Hymns No. 1 to 6 Edited by Ira David Sankey (1840-1908), James McGranahan (1840-1907), George Coles Stebbins (1846-1945), and Bliss; 512 p. 20 cm. 46-34481
Gospel Hymns No. 1 to 6
(Brevier ed.)
456 p. 15 cm. 45-41133
1902 Gospel Songs 128 p. unk84-202733
1920 Selected Gospel Hymns
(from the original collection)
256 p. 21 cm. 45-45290
n.d. Gospel Hymns Complete 112 p. 21 cm. 46-34313

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Copyright © 1999-2013 by Benjamin Robert Tubb.
All Rights Reserved.
Created 29 March 1999.
Last updated 15 December 2013.