I’ll Fly Away?


Your position on the song, “I’ll Fly Away?”


This song was written in 1929 by Albert E. Brumley (1905-1977)

Albert E. Brumley was born on a cotton farm near Spiro, Oklahoma on October 29, 1905. Before his song writing career, he attended the old Hartford Musical Institute at Hartford, Arkansas and sang with the Hartford Quartet. Later he taught singing schools in various parts of the Ozarks.   It was in 1929 that Brumley actually composed “I’ll Fly Away”. He recalled that he was picking cotton and singing the popular song, “If I Had The Wings Of An Angel”. Suddenly, he thought about flying away. Quote, “actually, I was dreaming of flying away from that cotton field when I wrote I’ll Fly Away”.   Inducted into the Country Song Writers Hall of Fame-1970. He was one of only 2 gospel writers named (the other was Stuart Hamblen) and was included with 21 country music writers, both living and dead at the time. He was included with… Gene Autry, Ernie Tubbs, Bob Wills, Hank Williams, A.P. Carter and Jimmy Rogers just to name a few.   Albert E. Brumley is still one of the most widely recorded gospel music composer in America. He’s been recorded by a variety of artists, from Elvis Presley to Ray Charles, The Supremes and even the Boston Pops. Recent recordings of I’ll Fly Away : Aretha Franklin (Princess Diana Tribute Album), Wynonna and Gary Chapman (Soundtrack for the movie “The Apostle”), Andy Griffith, Loretta Lynn, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, The Oak Ridge Boys and Burl Ives. (http://www.brumleymusic.com/bio.html)

I do not approve of this song for several reasons. First, because the only reference to God is in the phrase, “God’s celestial shore.” There is no reference to: Jesus, salvation, sin, blood, cross, forgiveness, etc. There is no attitude of worship toward God in the song. All of our music should be directed to God. Ephesians 5:19 says, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart TO THE LORD.” The words are so generic, that anyone would be able to sing it to a secular audience, and they would appreciate it. That brings me to the next point below.

Number two, with no real clear spiritual message, the song has a strong association with the worldly and sensuous Country Western and Bluegrass singers.   Notice the impressive list above in the biography section. John 15:19, 20 says, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.”   If those popular worldly singers like that song, then it is a worldly song.

Number three, I was not able to look at the musical score of the song, but usually it is played with an emphasis on beats two and four (the rock beat).   For more information on discerning the right music, listen to the audio messages found at (https://libertygospeltracts.com/lbc/office/music.html).