Hymn – I’ll Fly Away

The kids and I have been enjoying as part of our school time to work together to learn Hymns. My husband and I grew up with a few hymns but the majority of the music we sang at church and at home was contemporary. While the contemporary music was pleasing to the ear as we got older we were drawn to the depth of the hymns.

We selected Hymns of Grace as the hymnal we would use to learn and practice the songs. If you are unfamiliar to the Hymns of Grace they have some wonderful supporting videos on YouTube where they explain the history of the song as well as professionally recorded music in which the vocals are heard clearly (which is especially helpful when learning new songs.)

As part of our school we learn 3 songs each day on a rotational basis, then during our family bible time we sing the ones we know and are familiar with. Since we have been learning during school time our list of known songs continues to grow.

One of the songs my husband and I remember from childhood is I’ll Fly Away, yet, this song is not in the Hymns of Grace hymnal. So I have put together a short history informational guide for you here on this blog as well as some printables for your family to enjoy.

History of the Hymn:

I’ll Fly Away was written by Albert E. Brumley in 1929. The song was influenced by the 1924 secular ballad, “The Prisoner’s Song”.

Brumley was reportedly picking cotton on his father’s farm in Rock Island, Oklahoma. Brumley says that as he worked he was “humming the old ballad that went like this: ‘If I had the wings of an angel, over these prison walls I would fly,’ and suddenly it dawned on me that I could use this plot for a gospel-type song.”

Over the next three years he worked out the song. before it was published in 1932 by the Hartford Music Company.

I’ll Fly Away has been called “the most recorded gospel song”.

This song is about enduring the trials of sickness, hard work, heartache, and grief on Earth to look forward to someday being able to be with God and your loved ones that you’ve lost. “I’ll fly away” may be a figure of speech, but it’s about going to Heaven where it will be a much better place and joy shall never end.

Verses that lend well to the songs descriptions are:

Psalm 30:5

Revelation 21:31

Revelation 22:5

I Corinthians 15: 42-44

2 Corinthians 4:17

Luke 14:15-24

As a word of caution and encouragement to parents, while some hymns are without additional explanation, I would encourage you to make sure to explain the Christain worldview of this song as it could run the risk of forgetting the WHY and the gift it is to be here on the earth until we enter glory. As with many things, having the right worldview while listening and singing this hymn will hopefully encourage your children to yearn for heaven.


Included on this blog download below is the lyrics:

A few coloring sheets:

And some Copy Work:


We pray this will be an encouragement and support for you as you raise households that serve the Lord.

Published by RaisingRices

Raising Households that Serve the Lord! Our goal is that through family focused intentionality, legacy minded thinking, and being rooted in Christ, that we would lead our family to serve the LORD! Joshua 24:15

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