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This month's Free Tablature is
"My Sabbath Home"
C. R. Blackall (lyrics); William H. Doane (music) - 1871





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Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957) was an American author best known for a series of autobiographical books documenting pioneer life on the American frontier in the late 19th century, collectively known as the “Little House on the Prairie” books.   Embedded in the narratives of their pages, Wilder referenced nearly 130 songs and tunes she remembered being played and sung by her father, a recreational fiddler named Charles “Pa” Ingalls (1832-1902).  Even though there isn’t a single recorded track of his fiddle playing, Charles is still an influential musician, courtesy of the “Little House” books.   The books document not only the names of many of the songs and he tunes he played, but also where he played them, for whom, and often why he chose them.   Although he mostly played folk songs, he was also fond of “church songs”, such as “Jesus Holds My Hand”, “Sweet Bye and Bye”, and this month’s tab “My Sabbath Home".

The words to “My Sabbath Home” were written by Dr. Christopher Ruby Blackall, an M.D. who served in the Union army during the Civil War.   After the war, he left the medical profession, and started working for the Baptist Publication Society as an editor.   Those duties included working on a great many publications intended for Sunday School use, including various Sunday School song books.   That work inspired him to start writing poems and lyrics of his own, including “My Sabbath Home”.  It was first published in Christian Songs: for the Sunday School” in 1872.   It might have fallen into obscurity, if not for the popularity of the “Little House” books.  The hymn has since been published in nearly 30 hymnals of various denominations.   Other hymns written by Dr. Blackall include "By and By",  "We Are Little Sunbeams Shining", and "Jesus Loves the Little Children".

The tune that is used most often with this hymn was composed by William H. Doane.   He was a successful businessman who liked to compose music in his spare time.   His melodies became very popular, and he often collaborated with many of the most well-known hymn writers of the time, most notably Robert Lowry, Ira Sankey, and Fanny Crosby.  He composed over 2000 hymn tunes in his lifetime


This is a 2-part arrangement (melody and harmony), so find a playing partner and give this one a try.


In music and friendship,



1. Sweet Sabbath school more dear to me
    Than fairest palace dome
    My hear e''er turns with joy to thee
    My own dear Sabbath Home

Sabbath Home! (Sweet Home)!
Blessed Home! (Sweet Home)!
Sabbath Home! (Sweet Home)!
Blessed Home! (Sweet Home)!
My heart e'er turns with joy to thee
My own dear Sabbath Home

2. Here first my willful wandering heart
    The way of life was shown
    Here first I sought the better part
    And gained a Sabbath Home

3. Here Jesus stands with loving voice
    Entreating me to come
    And make of Him my earnest choice
    In this dear Sabbath Home







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My Sabbath Home


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Both parts