I want to be an angel

I want to be an angel. Sidney P. Gill (19th century, dates unknown). Sidney P. Gill is (unusually) the name of a woman. Information about her comes solely from JJ, p. 559, where a letter is quoted from her sister dated 6 February 1873. The letter dates the hymn at ca. 1854, when Sidney Gill was ‘then a very young lady’, which would make her date of birth ca. 1834. According to her sister, the composition of the hymn was as follows: She had been teaching a lesson [in the Sunday School] on Angels (I believe), when a lovely little girl exclaimed ‘Oh I want to be an angel.’ The child within a few days was attacked by a fatal disease and died; and under the strong impression of the...

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