P.P. Bliss FAQ

Okay, so we don't get questions about Bliss "frequently," but this page will include a few questions and answers that aren't covered elsewhere on the website...

What does the middle initial "P" stand for?
The Memoir indicates that P.P. Bliss' full name was Philip Paul Bliss. One of his sons was also named "Philip Paul," and when he grew up, he became a musical composer - mainly classical music, not hymns...

I had heard somewhere that the "P" didn't actually stand for anything, it was just a middle initial he took for himself - but the evidence seems to be that his middle name really was "Paul."

Who was Paulina?
Paulina was the author of the lyrics for a number of P.P. Bliss' songs, identified only by that name. On one of those songs, "Hold Fast Til I Come," one source credits the author as "Paulina," another lists the author as "Mrs. E.O. Griswold."

There was a writer named "Paulina DuPre," who published various articles on the status of women and other issues of the time under the same name ("Paulina"). She is credite (as "Paulina DuPre" as the writer of several hymns with music by George F. Root, so this is likely the same person.

Were Bliss' children killed in the Ashtabula train wreck?
No, they had been left behind in Rome when Mr. & Mrs. Bliss took the train home to Chicago. At the time of the accident, it was thought that they had been on the train, though, and that story still appears occasionally.

How can I determine if I am related to P.P. Bliss?
As far as I know, neither of Bliss' two sons had children of their own, so there are no direct descendants. However, there were certainly other relatives on both sides of the family. The "Bliss Genealogical Society" in England may be a good place to begin your research.

What is the story behind the song...
I've been able to collect information about the inspiration for or story behind a number of Bliss' songs, and will be adding this information into the individual song pages. To find out the story behind a particular song, go to the main song index page and go from there to the page for the specific song you are interested in. (still very much in development)

Would you be interested in...
If you have photos, stories, sheet music or any other information related to P.P. Bliss that you don't see here on the website, I would be glad to incorporate it into the site. Please contact us to describe the materials you have and we can discuss how to make them useable for the site. If you are willing to donate the actual materials to the museum, that would be wonderful, as well, and arrangements can be made for that.

There is a classical music piece called "On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss" - which of his hymns is it based on?
The website for the composer, David R. Holsinger, seems to indicate that it is based on "It Is Well With My Soul."

Are you able to provide sheet music for Bliss' songs?
Since Bliss died in 1876, we believe that all his music is now in public domain, so if we have a copy of the sheet music, it can be scanned in and sent. Eventually, we hope to have much of this sheet music available directly on the website for download

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