"Heaven Holds All to Me" copyright date/status

You are here

Heaven Holds All to Me is listed in at least 11 hymnals cited as being published before 1923. The earliest in the list, Calvary Hymns is listed with a 1915 publication date. None of the hymnals include page scans for verification. A copy of Calvary Hymns at the Internet Archive shows a copyright date of 1925 instead of 1915 (although it's instance of the song mentions no date).

My goal is to hopefully verify whether or not "Heaven Holds All to Me" is public domain or not.



I'm pretty sure "Heaven Holds All to Me" is public domain because it was first published before 1923. It looks to me like the 1915 date for "Calvary Hymns" is a mistake, it should be 1925. However, there are other hymnals that were definitely published in 1919 and enough other hymnals published before 1923 to make us pretty confident that this hymn is public domain.

Many thanks for your help. You state that "there are other hymnals that were definitely published in 1919" etc, but I have not seen any scanned sources. Since Calvary Hymns was apparently mis-dated, it naturally makes me wonder about the other data. Although, I must admit, it would be stretching belief to think that the 10 other pre-1923 hymnals were also mis-dated.

This site claims the song, although written in 1912, was later copyrighted in 1932. Yet Capitol claims a copyright date of 1938. Calvary Hymns is at least visible proof of publication before either of those copyright claims, which makes me scratch my head. According to what I've read of copyright law either those subsequent copyright claims are invalid, or else publication of Teddlie's song was unauthorized before 1932/38.

If anyone has further insight into this song, or copyright gray matter in general, I'd appreciate it.

It is routine in the music publishing business to claim a fresh copyright with each new printing. Hal Leonard puts current copyright dates on the melody lines of things like STILLE NACHT. On the other hand, there have been editors here who have been known to change instances to match authorities, which can be equally damaging to the reliability of the data. I agree that a 1919 scan would be reassuring.