Jeremiah Rankin (1828-1904) was intrigued by the idea that the word "Good-bye" likely came into the English language as a contraction of the phrase "God Be With You." With this idea in mind, he began writing this hymn. When he finished the first stanza, he sent one copy of the words to a well known composer and another to a little-known church musician in Washington D.C., William G. Tomer. When he received their compositions, he chose the composition written Tomer as the music his hymn would be set to. The hymn soon became immensely popular and Ranking wrote that he "attributed its popularity in no little part to the music to which it was set." The only other hymn by Rankin that is widely known today is "Tell It to Jesus."
If you don't already know it, this is a great hymn to learn. It lends itself well to any occasion when Christians must part. Why not
us and let us know of an occasion when you play or sing it. Better yet, send us a video! We really would like to know what you're doing!