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Independent Baptist Songs: I’ll Fly Away by Albert E. Brumley

albert e brumley

From time to time, I plan to post lyrics from the songs we sang in the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) churches I grew up in and pastored. Unbelievers and non-Fundamentalists might find some of these lyrics quite interesting, and, at times, funny or disturbing. Enjoy!

Today’s Independent Baptist Song is I’ll Fly Away by Albert E. Brumley. I was able to find a video of this song being sung by Ransomed Bluegrass.

I’ll Fly Away talks about believers dying and flying away to God’s celestial shores — Heaven, a land where joy shall never end. As with many gospels songs, I’ll Fly Away speaks of entrance into Heaven as being immediate and corporeal. That’s not, however, what the Bible says or what orthodox Christianity purportedly teaches. When believers die they don’t go to Heaven, they go to the grave and remain there until Jesus resurrects them from the dead. Grandma is not running around Heaven free of pain and with all her teeth. She’s dead, in the grave, and will remain there until Jesus — much as he did with Lazarus — says COME FORTH!

I’ll Fly Away by Albert E. Brumley

Some glad morning when this life is o’er,
I’ll fly away;
To a home on God’s celestial shore,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

I’ll fly away, Oh Glory
I’ll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

When the shadows of this life have gone,
I’ll fly away;
Like a bird from prison bars has flown,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away)


Just a few more weary days and then,
I’ll fly away;
To a land where joy shall never end,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away)

Video Link

About Albert E. Brumley:

Albert E. Brumley was born near Spiro, Oklahoma on October 29, 1905. Pre-Dustbowl Oklahoma was primarily made up of sparse agricultural communities; Brumley’s family was no different. He spent much of his early life chopping and picking cotton on his family’s farm. In 1926, he enrolled in the Hartford Musical Institute of Hartford, Arkansas, and studied there through 1931. The Institute was led by Eugene Monroe Bartlett (1884–1941), owner of the Hartford Music Company and composer of the well-known gospel song “Victory in Jesus”. Brumley purchased Hartford Music Company in 1948.

Brumley married Goldie Edith Schell in 1931. They lived on the banks of Big Sugar Creek in Powell, Missouri, where they raised six children.

“I’ll Fly Away,” “Turn Your Radio On,” “If We Never Meet Again (This Side of Heaven),” “I’ll Meet You In The Morning,” “Rank Strangers,” and “He Set Me Free” are among a host of favorites written by Albert E. Brumley. He wrote over 800 songs. He established the Albert E. Brumley Sundown to Sunup Gospel Sing (now Albert E. Brumley Gospel Sing) in 1969 in Springdale, Arkansas. Brumley has been inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

Albert Brumley was a member of the Church of Christ and is buried at Fox Church of Christ Cemetery near Powell, Missouri. He died November 15, 1977. Brumley’s son Tom, who would die in 2009, later became a respected steel guitarist in country music and songleader in the Church of Christ in Powell.


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    Interesting that it has become a brass band standard in mostly Catholic New Orleans. No doubt grinding poverty Jim Crow and other factors made the lyrics resonate. The crowd will always join in and everyone is welcome. Here is just one example from a Second Line. And a pretty good ides of what it’s like to walk in one.

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    mary g

    oh dear. Brumley songs. as a Pentecostal child, I knew services would run long w/these songs. the congregation would be totally nuts and sing these over and over for hours while running.screaming,crying etc. we teens would sit in the back and watch the show wishing it would be over. then we would have to sit thru at least a 2 hr sermon after all the wild stuff. then more crazy at the 1 hr plus altar call. I created many stories and fantasies in my head while this all went on. too bad I never wrote it out, possible novels? then the adults would be on a high after all this and we would eat junk food at home or in restaurants until late at night. Monday mornings we had a tough time getting up and going due to the late services. mom and sis gained lots of weight during these years due to erratic eating scheduled around the church services. I started calorie restricting in order to not gain. what a dysfunctional way to raise kids. now I am paying for this as an older person as my metabolism is slow to calorie restriction. sorry this was so long. realized again how much I hate these songs and what they caused/are causing in peoples lives.

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    I actually liked this song and loved singing it. It’s funny how you don’t think about or question the lyrics when you are submerged in the culture. Now many of these songs horrify me with images of washing in blood or rivers of blood or death on a cross.

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Bruce Gerencser