Frances Jane van Alstyne, more commonly known as Fanny Crosby, was an American mission worker, poet, lyricist, and composer. She was a prolific hymnist, writing more than 8,000 hymns and gospel songs, with more than 100 million copies printed. She is also known for her teaching and her rescue mission work. Fanny Crosby was born on March 24, 1820, in Brewster, NY. As an infant, she lost her sight and lived her life in an unseen world until her death on February 12, 1915, in Bridgeport, CT.
Having written so many hymns, and because of a reluctance of publishers of hymnals to publish so many songs by one person, Fanny Crosby used close to 100 different pseudonyms. Her first hymn, “There’s a Cry from Macedonia,” was written in 1863. Words and music for hundreds of Fanny Crosby’s songs can be found at hymntime.com.
Best-known hymns of Fanny Crosby include:
- “All the Way My Savior Leads Me”—before 1875, music by Robert Wadsworth Lowry
- “Blessed Assurance”—1873, music by Phoebe Knapp
- “The Bright Forever”—1871, music by Hubert P. Main
- “Close to Thee”—1874, music by Silas J. Vail
- “Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home”—1883, music by George C. Stebbins
- “I Am Thine, O Lord”—before 1875, music by W. Howard Doane
- “My Savior First of All”—1891, music by John R. Sweney
- “Near the Cross”—before 1869, music by W. Howard Doane
- “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour”—1868, music by W. Howard Doane
- “Praise Him, Praise Him”—before 1869, music by Chester G. Allen
- “Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim It”—before 1882, William J. Kirkpatrick
- “Rescue the Perishing”—1869, music by W. Howard Doane
- “Safe in the Arms of Jesus”—1878, music by W. Howard Doane
- “Saviour, More Than Life to Me”—1875, music by W. Howard Doane
- “Tell Me the Story of Jesus”—before 1880, music by John R. Sweney
- “To God Be the Glory”—1875, music by W. Howard Doane
- “Draw me Nearer”—1875, words by Fanny Crosby
The epitaph on Fanny Crosby’s tombstone reads, “Aunt Fanny — Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine.”
The Song — Blessed Assurance (contemporary version)
The Song — To God Be The Glory / My Redeemer Lives
Watch -- Stories behind the songs and those who wrote them:
Who Was Fanny Crosby? What’s the Story Behind “Blessed Assurance”
Who Was Horatio Spafford? What’s the Story Behind “It Is Well With My Soul”
Who Was Robert Robinson? What’s the Story Behind “Come Thou Fount”
Who Was Charles Wesley? What’s the Story Behind “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”
Who was Isaac Watts? What's the Story Behind "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross?"
Who Was William Cowper? What’s the Story Behind "There is a Fountain Filled with Blood"
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