Born: De­cem­ber 31, 1837, West Ches­ter, Penn­syl­van­ia.

Died: Ap­ril 10, 1899, Ches­ter, Penn­syl­van­ia.

Buried: Ches­ter Rur­al Cem­e­tery, Ches­ter, Penn­syl­van­ia.

Sweney’s mu­sic­al gift showed it­self at an ear­ly age. While still a boy, he be­gan to teach mu­sic in the pub­lic schools and lead Sun­day school per­form­ances. At age 19, he start­ed stu­dy­ing mu­sic in ear­nest un­der Pro­fes­sor Bauer, a cel­e­brat­ed German teach­er. He took les­sons on the vi­o­lin and pi­a­no, and about this time was cho­sen lead­er of a choir. He was al­so in con­stant de­mand for child­ren’s con­certs and for con­duct­ing glee clubs.

At age 22, Sweney was called to teach in Do­ver, Del­a­ware. When the Amer­i­can civ­il war broke out, he took charge of the band of the Third Del­a­ware Reg­i­ment. After the war, Sweney be­came Pro­fess­or of Mu­sic at the Penn­syl­van­ia Mil­i­tary Acad­e­my in West Ches­ter, Penn­syl­van­ia. He worked there over 25 years, and re­ceived the de­grees of Bach­e­lor of Mu­sic (1876) and Doc­tor of Mu­sic (1886).

Sweney com­posed more than 1,000 hymn tunes, and col­lab­o­rat­ed on a num­ber of hymn col­lect­ions. His works in­clude:



  1. Adopted
  2. All Glory Be Thine
  3. As the Bird Flies Home
  4. At the Breaking of the Day
  5. Awake! Awake!
  6. Awake, Awake! O Heart of Mine!
  7. Awake, O Zion’s Daughter
  8. Balm in Secret Prayer
  9. Beulah Land
  10. Blest, Blest Forever
  11. Break Forth, O Joyful Heart
  12. By the Grace of God We’ll Meet
  13. Calvary
  14. Close Thy Heart No More
  15. Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace
  16. Come in, O Blessèd One
  17. Conquering Now and Still to Conquer
  18. Everlasting Song, The
  19. Falter Not
  20. Fill Me Now
  21. From the Cross to the Crown
  22. Go Work in the Vineyard
  23. God’s Holy Church Shall Triumph
  24. Golden Key
  25. Good News
  26. Handful of Leaves, A
  27. Have Compassion, Lord, on Me!
  28. He Feedeth His Flock
  29. He Set the Joy-Bells Ringing
  30. His Love Passeth Knowledge
  31. Holy, Ho­ly, Is What the Angels Sing
  32. Hour of Prayer, The
  33. How Oft We Are There
  34. I Have a Friend
  35. I Have Entered Beulah Land
  36. I Live but in Thee
  37. Jesus Leads
  38. Jesus Will Welcome Me There
  39. Joyfully Sing
  40. King’s Highway, The
  41. More About Jesus
  42. Morning Draweth Nigh, The
  43. Music of the Angels
  44. My Rest
  45. My Savior First of All
  46. No Cross for Me?
  47. No Voice But Thine
  48. O Blessed Word
  49. O Church of God, Arise!
  50. O Fly to Him
  51. On Let Us Go
  52. Only a Beam of Sunshine
  53. Only Once You Pass This Way
  54. Onward, Ye Pilgrims
  55. Out in the Sunshine
  56. Out on the Desert
  57. Peace to My Soul
  58. Praise, Praise His Name
  59. Precious Moments
  60. Press On, Press On, Ye Workers
  61. Rainbow Round the Throne, The
  62. Redeemed, and with the Price of Blood
  63. Revive the Hearts of All
  64. Savior with Me, The
  65. Schindler
  66. Seek Ye First
  67. Send Out the Sunlight
  68. Shepherd’s Fold on High, The
  69. Shout in the Camp, A
  70. Showers of Blessing
  71. Simple, Earnest Prayer, The
  72. Since I Found My Savior
  73. Sing On
  74. Sing Once More of Jesus
  75. Singing of Jesus
  76. Smile from Jesus, A
  77. Speak for Jesus
  78. Sunshine in the Soul
  79. Sweet Assurance
  80. Sweet Story of Jesus
  81. Take the World, but Give Me Jesus
  82. Tell It Out with Gladness
  83. Tell Me the Story of Jesus
  84. Tell the Whole Wide World
  85. Thou Wilt Remember Me
  86. Till the Boat Comes By
  87. ’Tis Summer in My Heart
  88. Unsearchable Riches
  89. Wait on the Lord
  90. Waiting for the Promise
  91. Walking in the Good Old Way
  92. We All Can Do Good
  93. We Are Nearing
  94. When Each Others Face We See
  95. Will There Be Any Stars?
  96. Will You Come?