“I’ll Fly Away” is a jolly hymn written by Albert E. Brumley in 1929. The idea was derived from 1 Thessalonians 4:17. The thought it speaks is the rapture of souls when both the living and the dead will meet Jesus on air, the song has been most associated with earthly death. The departed souls will then be received up in the heavens. And that is what motivates the optimistic attitude.
Instead of dreading death, believers look forward to it. It is in the hope that the cessation of an earthly existence means the beginning of eternal life. This eternal life will be spent in the presence of the Lord. There will be no more sadness, sickness, tears, and everyone will be free from the presence of sin.
There will be no place for boredom either. Chasing greater revelations of God’s glory alone will embark a soul on a perpetual journey. That is why we rarely sing of golden streets, pearly gates, and big mansions. Though we have them in our some of the songs, we do not celebrate having them in our possessions. There is that inner sense in every believer’s heart and spirit that heaven will not be heaven because of these. Heaven, to us, means that we could freely and primarily enjoy God’s company followed by our fellowship with his whole family. The rest, are just delightful extras of heavenly living.
Over the years, “I’ll Fly Away” had been commonly sung in churches particularly Baptists. It has also been repeatedly played and recorded in the country music scene dating back to 1940 by Rev. J.M Gates. Other gospel singers and country artists followed suit. To name a few, we got James and Martha Carson, The Chuck Wagon Gang, Ferlyn Husky, Jim Reeves, Roy Acuff and His Smoky Mountain Boys, Johnny Cash, and George Jones.
You will be singing along with this faith soaring and music-loving quartet. They were comprised by Tennessee Ernie Ford, Grandpa Jones, Stringbean and Roy Clark in “I’ll Fly Away.”