The Copyright status of "I'll Follow Him With Rejoicing"

You are here

Salt_of_the_Earth's picture

Can anyone figure out the copyright status of this Charles Naylor hymn?

Timeless Truths says the Copyright is Uncertain

"Worship the Lord: Hymnal of the Church of God" has it as Hymn #436, with no copyright status, presumably making public domain. 

Can anyone confirm the status of copyright?


I'm sending an email to Dr. Neidert asking if he knows. Since Naylor was a Church of God activist, my guess is that when the initial copyright (ca. 1926) expired it was not renewed, so it entered the public domain, and the compilers of the COG hymnal you cited knew that. But it's possible they thought it would be covered by the hymnals own copyright (this would not be true, but sometimes people don't know the copyright laws very well). If I can track him down, Dr. Neidert looks like a good guess for someone who might know the truth.

Hmm. It is a strange case.

Dr. Neidert, who is now retired from the University but retains his email, wrote:

You would need to contact Warner Press in Anderson, IN related to any copyright needs. Warner Press is the current name of the Gospel Trumpet Company that owns music for the Church of God. Here is the contact form: 

Hmm. I'll contact them. It seemed odd though, looking through the copyright notices in the back, that neither Naylor nor Warner Press own the rights to the song. I guess the contact form will provide the answers I need. Thanks!

If you find out anything substantive be sure to post it here so the database can be updated and my curiosity slaked.

Well, I got a response. Warner Press owns the Copyright for the hymn. Why this isn't mentioned in the Copyright Holders in the back of the hymnal on either C. Naylor or Warner Press, I don't know. Well, that issue is solved.

Do you know the year Warner Press claims copyright to it in? Every year things revert to the public domain.

Do we/you know what year the copyright Warner Press claims ownership of was filed? It can't legitimately be later than 1926 since the database contains an instance in a hymnal published in that year.

Copyright 1926 > Public domain in 2022

Copyright 1925 > Public domain in 2021

Copyright 1924 or earlier is already in the public domain.

It's Public domain! Here's the email they sent:

"I apologize—I accidentally gave you some misinformation! I did some further investigation into the copyright status of this title, and I'll Follow with Rejoicing is in fact in public domain. It was copyright by A.L. Byers in 1926 and was never renewed. "

I'm assuming that Byers filed the copyright for Naylor, but I'm asking that just to make sure.


My guess is that the Church of God hymnal editors did that bit of research, but then just left it blank and their notes have been lost. Maybe Byers filed it for Naylor, or maybe Byers bought the rights from Naylor, but in either case if it wasn't renewed it's available for me to translate for free! ;-)

Hmm. Do you always translate hymns?

Not always.  I also enter them in the database here, and sing them, and read them, and so on and so forth. I was sort of kidding when I said I was now free to translate this one; I might someday, but it's not near the top of my to-do heap. At the moment it looks like the Hymnary database has 67 of my works, of which 11 are original works in at least some sense while 55 are translations, the overwhelming majority of them from English into Esperanto. 

The originals are as follows:

Original in English:
Around this table, dearest Lord    
In Bethlem town the Christ was born    
Who'd have thought the Lord Almighty    

Adaptation/paraphrase in English:
Lord Eternal, God of Ages

Originals in English and in Esperanto:
When Jesus had died, to Tiberias' Sea / Kiam mortis Jesuo, pro tima konfuz'
Ni vin memoras kun omaĝ' / Foremothers of Christ

Original in Esperanto:
Akve mi baptos vin laŭ la moro    
Ho vi junulino    

Original in Arabic and Esperanto:
As-salamŭ' alajkum

Three translations into English from Esperanto originals:

Come, ye believers, sing to our Father!

Every part of the earth

When great King David, sorely afflicted

I did one English translation from German:

Two sails flashing bright on the royal-blue bay

There are a few translations into Esperanto from other languages:

From Spanish:

Al Betleĥemo do kun ĝojo hastu nia    

From Latin:
In dulĉi jubilo', nun kantu ni kun ĝojo

From Yiddish:
Ĉiuj homoj estas fratoj

From Dakota via English:
Aŭdu bonan sav-novaĵon!


Since my guess is you don't know Esperanto, I'll list the translations from English into Esperanto with their original first lines:

Adoru ni nun la Reĝon de glor' (O worship the King)
Al mi tre ofte ŝajnas, ke vantas la labor' (There is a balm in Gilead)
Alvenu, ho Jesuo, kiel venas aŭror' (Come surely, Lord Jesus)
Amantoj de l' Sinjor', aŭdiĝu dolĉa son'! (Come we that love the Lord)
Amen, Amen (Jen la Bebo) (Amen! Amen! (See the Baby))
Anĝelar' el regnoj gloraj (Angels from the realms of glory)
Antaŭtempul', tronanta en majesto (Ancient of days, who sittest throned in glory)
Ĉe la kruco tenu min (Jesus, keep me near the cross)
Cedu kaj sciu (Be still and know)
Ĉesu, milita bru' (Hush, all ye sounds of war)
Ĉio karna nun eksilentu, staru en tremanta timem'. (Let all mortal flesh keep silence)
Dio graca, Dio glora (God of grace and God of glory)
Dum Izrael' en Sinaj tendumis, per Mose' (When Israel camped in Sinai)
Dum ŝafistoj gardis gregon (While shepherds watched their flocks by night)
Eliros vi kun ĝoj'; gvidiĝos vi kun pac' (You shall go out in joy)
Emanuel', Emanuel', nomiĝas Li Emanuel' (Emmanuel! Emmanuel!)
Estas Li la Sinjor' Relevita el la tomb' al Dia glor'. (He is Lord, He is Lord)
For, longe for, en Judea land' (Far, far away on Judea's plain)
Fuĝi for, fuĝi for, fuĝi al Jesuo! (Steal away)
Ĝardenen mi venas en sol' (I come to the garden alone)
Ĝoje, ĝoje ni vin gloras (Joyful, joyful, we adore thee)
Ĝoju la mondo: venis jam al tero la Sinjor'! (Joy to the world! the Lord is come)
Grandaĵojn li faris! Al Di' estu glor'! (To God be the glory, great things he hath done)
Gvidu de l' mort' al viv' (Lead us from death to life)
Halelu', halelu', halelu', haleluja. Gloron al Di'! (Hallelu, hallelu, hallelu, hallelujah! Praise ye the Lord)
Haleluja! Haleluja! En sanktega ĉanta ŝvel' (Alleluia! Alleluia! Let the holy anthem rise)
Hastu, Cion'! Plenumu la mision (O Zion, haste!)
Ho Dio, mankas vortoj por la hodiaŭa kri' (O God, our words cannot express)
Ho Jesuo, Ĉu mi diru, kion mi sentas? (Jesus, Jesus)
Ho, kantu nun pri Betleĥem' (O sing a song of Bethlehem)
Ho preĝa hor', ho preĝa hor', (Sweet hour of prayer)
Ho sankta nokto! (O holy night!)
Ho ve! ĉu sangis la Savant' (Alas! and did my Saviour bleed)
Ho venu vi, Imanuel'! (O come, O come Emmanuel) (two stanzas)
Hodiaŭ, jen naskiĝis infano de renom' (A child this day is born)
Homoj kaj infanoj tra l' mondo dolĉe himnu al (Men and children everywhere)
"Hosana, Hosanega!" laŭtkantas infanar'; (Hosanna, loud hosanna)
Iru, diru sur la montoj (Go, tell it on the mountain)
Ja eble aŭrore, dum tago sin vekas (It may be at dawn)
Je Pentekost' alvenis, jam frue en maten' (On Pentecost they gathered)
Kun preĝo al Reĝo de l' reĝoj ni venas (We gather together [portions])
Mi trans Jordano kion vidis? (Swing low, sweet chariot)
Ondegaro preter lim' (Though the angry surges roll)
Patro kaj Dio, Vi ege fidelas (Great is thy faithfulness)
Replenigu mian lampon, ke ĝi brilu (Give me oil in my lamp)
Senmorta, senkorpa, plej saĝa Sinjor' (Immortal, invisible)

I've done lots of others, but those are the ones in this website's database.

No, I don't speak esperanto, or any other conlang for that matter, but I find it very interesting!

Esperanto began as a conlang in 1887, but by the time I taught it to myself in 1970, it was a full-fledged language (had been since before WWI). In 1973, Nixon left me stranded in Zurich with no money, and knowing Esperanto saved my life, so I've been an avid Esperantist ever since. In about 1999, I began compiling an online Esperanto hymnal, TTT-Himnaro Cigneta, inspired by my admiration for Dick Adams's accomplishment in creating and growing The Cyber Hymnal™. I built mine at, a Yahoo subsidiary, and by 2009 I had 505 Esperanto hymns (and 101 in other languages). But then Yahoo pulled the plug on Geocities, and it all became a fossil. Luckily almost all of it was archived at's Wayback Machine: 

If I wanted to learn a real conlang, I would go for Solresol ( because I imagine I could write a hymn in it in four-part harmony where each part was a separate stanza, so you could sing the whole four at once in one stanza's duration. But that would be an intellectual exercise of little real value, I think. No one speaks Solresol fluently enough, I get the impression, to even understand one stanza in unison. Aikin Solresol would be an additional joy. ;-) And though no human might understand the hymn, my guess is God would get a kick out of it.

It looks like you are using an ad-blocker. Ad revenue helps keep us running. Please consider white-listing or subscribing to eliminate ads entirely and help support