Songwriter Burnout? Part 2
John Schiedeman has sparked quite the discussion this week with his J.D. Sumner quote about songwriter burnout. I posted about it several days ago, and several other bloggers have joined in. I think the cases in point I offered were decent, but as someone observed, all the songwriters I mentioned are still alive. Here’s one that’s not.
Philip P. Bliss was one of the greatest hymnwriters / composers of the 1800s. On December 29, 1876, Bliss and his wife were aboard a train near Ashtabula, Ohio, when a bridge collapsed and the train plunged into a ravine. Accounts hold that he was among the few able to get free of the wreckage–but when he realized his wife had not made it out, he went back into the fiery wreck and died trying to save her.
During his lifetime, he was best known for “Hold the Fort” and “Almost Persuaded,” two songs primarily remembered today by hymn historians. However . . .
Merely weeks if not days before his death, he finished the melody of a song to which Horatio Spafford had written lyrics.
It is Well With My Soul.
Oh, and that’s not all. Among the baggage rescued from the fire was another song to which Bliss had composed lyrics, but had not written down a melody.
I Will Sing of My Redeemer.
I say all that to say this: Songwriters, keep writing! Even if you’ve hit a dry spell, your next song might just be the next “God Did It All” . . . and perhaps God will reward a lifetime of faithfulness by letting your last song be the next “It is Well.”