T. C. O'Kane

T. C. O'Kane
Short Name: T. C. O'Kane
Full Name: O'Kane, T. C. (Tulius Clinton), 1830-1912
Birth Year: 1830
Death Year: 1912

O'Kane, Tullius Clinton, an American writer, born March 10, 1830, is the author of "O sing of Jesus, Lamb of God" (Redemption); and "Who, who are these beside the chilly wave?" (Triumph in Death), in I. D. Sankey's Sacred Songs and Solos, 1878 and 1881.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)


Tullius Clinton O'Kane was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, March 10, 1830. He resided with his parents in this vicinity until the spring of 1849, when he went to Delaware, Ohio, and entered the Ohio Wesleyan University, from which he graduated in 1852, with the degree A. B., and received his A. M. degree three years later from his Alma Mater.

Immediately upon his graduation, he was tendered a position in the Faculty as Tutor of Mathematics, which he accepted and successfully filled for five years. The students always called him "Professor," by which title he is known to the present day.

His musical abilities were early recognized in the University, and for years he was the musical precentor in the daily chapel devotions. He organized and maintained a Choral Society in the College, and was the first musical instructor in the Ohio Wesleyan Female College, which a few years ago was incorporated into the University.

In 1857 he was elected to a principalship in the Cincinnati public schools, and served in that capacity until 1861, when he resigned his position to accept a place in the piano establishment of Philip Phillips & Co. He remained with this house until its removal to New York City in 1867, when, although urged to be transferred with the house to that city, he preferred to remove with his family back to Delaware, Ohio.

For the ensuing six years he traveled over the state of Ohio as the general agent for the Smith American Organ Co., of Boston, Mass. During this time he visited conferences, Sunday-school conventions, both State and County, introducing his Sunday-school singing books, and in this way became well known throughout his native state, and quite extensively in some of the adjoining states.

His musical compositions were first published in Philip Phillips' Musical Leaves, in 1865, and since then but few Sunday-school singing books have appeared without one or more of his compositions.

His first music book, Fresh Leaves, was issued in 1868. This was followed at intervals by Dew Drops, Songs of Worship, Every Sabbath, Jasper and Gold, Redeemer's Praise, Glorious Things and Morning Stars. In connection with his son, Edward T. O'Kane, who is himself a most excellent composer and a very skillful organist, in 1882 he issued Selected Anthems, a book designed for use by the more advanced choirs. In association with J. R. Sweney and "Chaplain" McCabe, he issued Joy to the World, a song book for prayer-meetings, and the same editors, with the addition of W. J. Kirkpatrick, compiled Songs of Redeeming Love, No. 1, in 1882, and No. 2 in 1884. He also issued Songs of Praises, Unfading Treasures and Forward Songs.

Some of Professor O'Kane's best known songs are Glorious Fountain, The Home Over There, On Jordan's Stormy Banks, Say, are You Ready? and many others. With Mr. O'Kane, music and musical composition have ever been a recreation, rather than a profession. He is an excellent leader of choirs, but his forte seems to be in leading large congregations, Sunday-schools and social religious meetings in sacred song. He sings "with the spirit and the understanding also " — with a due appreciation of both words and music — and very naturally infuses his enthusiasm into his audiences so that they cannot "keep from singing." In his music he endeavors to catch the spirit of the hymn, and then give it expression in the music he composes for it. This sometimes seems to have been almost an inspiration, and could be illustrated by a reference to the circumstances under which many of his compositions have been made.

One of his earlier and more widely known pieces is that entitled, Over There. He says he cut this hymn out of some newspaper and put it with others in his portfolio, intending some time when he felt like it to give it a musical setting. One Sunday afternoon, after studying his lesson for the next session of his Sunday-school, he opened his portfolio, and turning over the selections, found these words, and something seemed to say, "Now's your time." He sat down at the organ, studied the hymn intently for a few moments, and then, as his fingers touched the keys of the instrument, melody and harmony were in every movement, and when the stanza was ended, melody and harmony found their expression in the chorus, and Over There was finished.

Another of his well known songs is Sweeping Through the Gates. One cold, blustery day he had occasion to go from his residence to the railroad depot, about a mile distant, and in his route had to cross the river on a suspension foot-bridge. As he came down to the bridge, he thought of the "river of death," so cold, with no bridge, and then the words of the dying Cookman came to his mind, and he exclaimed to himself:

'Who, who are these beside the chilly wave? "

Words, melody and refrain seemed to come all at once and all together, so that by the time he arrived back at his home, the composition was complete.

Professor O'Kane is a genial, modest Christian gentleman, who carries sunshine wherever he goes. His greatest joy comes from the consciousness that his music has cheered and comforted the hearts of Christian people all over the world, and has been the means of winning thousands from the pleasures of the world to the higher enjoyments of the Christian religion. His song, Sweeping Through the Gates, will be sung till all the ransomed are gathered Over There.

-Hall, J. H. (c1914). Biographies of Gospel Song and Hymn Writers. New York: Fleming H. Revell Company.


O'Kane, Tullius Clinton. Died 10 February 1912, Delaware, Ohio. Buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Delaware, Ohio.

--DNAH Archives

Texts by T. C. O'Kane (58)sort descendingAsAuthority LanguagesInstances
മാനവരെ രക്ഷിച്ചിടുവാനായ് (Mānavare rakṣicciṭuvānāy)Tulius Clinton O'Kane (Author)Malayalam2
這些人是誰?安渡約但波Tullius C. O'Kane (Author)Chinese2
Am I a soldier of the crossT. C. O'Kane (Author)English9
As I wandered round the homesteadT. C. O'Kane (Author)English15
Behold a stranger at the door!T. C. O. (Author)English3
Behold me standing at the doorT. C. O'K. (Arranger and Author (chorus))English1
Beyond the scenes of toilTullius C. O'Kane (Author)2
Brother, you may work for JesusT. C. O'Kane (Author)English13
Come, needy sinners, Jesus is waitingT. C. O'Kane (Author)English14
Come to the fountain flowing deep and wideT. C. O'Kane (Author)3
For Jesus we are soldiersT.C. O'Kane (Author)1
From the throne of God in heavenTullius C. O'Kane (Author)English2
Glory to God, the angels sangT. C. O'Kane (Author)2
Go, work in my vineyard, there's plenty to doT. C. O'Kane (Author)English3
Hasten to the gospel feastT. C. O'K (Author)English5
Hear you ever angels singingT. C. O'Kane (Author)English10
Hear you not the Savior calling, calling you so earnestly?T. C. O'Kane (Author)English12
Hvilka 'ro dessa, som vid flodensT. C. O'Kane (Author)5
I'm a little pilgrim, And a stranger hereT. C. O'Kane (Author)English1
In His vineyard, Christ the LordT. C. O'Kane (Author)English5
In the Eden of loveT. C. O'Kane (Author)2
In the Lord our SaviorT. C. O'Kane (Author)2
Is it for me, dear SaviorT. C. O'Kane (Author)English1
Jesus, thy precious blood aloneT. C. O'K (Author)English7
Komm, Sünder, komme, müd' und beladenT. C. O'Kane (Author)German3
Let not your heart be troubled, Neither let it be afraidT. C. O'K. (Author)English4
Lo the fields are white unto the harvest nowT. C. O'Kane (Author)English8
Mache dich auf, o Zion, werde Licht!Tullius C. O'Kane (Author)German1
Must Jesus bear the cross aloneT. C. O'Kane (Author (Chorus))English1
O how I have longed to beholdTullius C. O'Kane (Author)2
O how sweet the name of JesusTullius C. O'Kane (Author)2
O let us praise the Savior's nameT. C. O'K (Author)2
O sing of Jesus, Lamb of GodT. C. O'K. (Author)English39
O think of the home over there By the side of the river of lightT. C. O'Kane (Author)English2
O to love Thee, precious JesusT. C. O'Kane (Author)English3
O, had I wings like a dove, Far, far awayT. C. O'Kane (Author)3
O touch it not, for deep withinT. C. O'Kane (Author)English1
On the Rock of ages, safe within the veilT. C. O'K (Author)2
One by one, the bonds are severedT. C. O'Kane (Author)English14
One day more to work for JesusT. C. O'Kane (Author)English3
Qui sont ces gens au radieux visageT. C. O'Kane (Author)2
ആരാണിവര്‍ ശൈത്യ തിരയിന്മേല്‍ [Ārāṇivar śaitya tirayinmēl]T. C. O'Kane (Author)Malayalam2
Raise your banner high in airTullius C. O'Kane (Author)4
Rejoice, rejoice, Behold the promised Savior!T. C. O'K. (Author (part of the words))2
Sehet auf, zur Ernte weiss das weite FeldTullius C. O'Kane (Author)2
Silently the shepherdsTullius C. O'Kane (Author)2
Some of these days (O'Kane)Tullius C. O'Kane (Author)2
The great deliverer long foretoldTullius Clinton O'Kane (Author)English3
There [firm] stands a [the] rock on shores of timeTullius C. O'Kane (Author)English1
There's a crown in heaven for the striving soulT. C. O'K. (Author)English33
There's a home for the soul in the land far awayT. C. O'K (Author)2
There's a narrow road [path] that leads to endless dayT. C. O'Kane (Author)English3
They are coming! they are coming! Who have been in darkness longT. C. O'Kane (Author)English6
We sing there'll be something to doTullius C. O'Kane (Author)3
We'll meet again, how sweet the wordT. C. O'Kane (Author)English7
When the march of life is over, with its battles fought and wonT. C. O'Kane (Author)English10
Who, who are these beside the chilly waveT. C. O'Kane (Author)English52
Work for the day is passingT. C. O'Kane (Author)English2

Data Sources

Suggestions or corrections? Contact us