Open My Eyes

Fugue in C    D. Buxtehude (1637-1707) [ORGAN]

"Open My Eyes" M.R. Edward (1810-1865)

Improvisation

Clara H. Scott (1841-1897), the author of the lyrics for "Open My Eyes" was a Midwesterner, born in Illinois.

In 1856 (age 15), Scott attended the first Music Institute held in Chicago by the then well-known C.M. Cady. By 1859 (age 18), she was teaching music at the Ladies' Seminary in Lyons, Iowa. She married Henry Clay Scott in 1861 (née Scott — her husband conveniently already had the same last name). In 1882 she published her Royal Anthem Book, the first volume of choir anthems published by a woman. Horatio R. Palmer, an influential church musician in Chicago and later New York City, was a source of encouragement for Scott, and helped her publish many of her songs. In 1895 "Open My Eyes" was published and became her best-known hymn. In 1896 she published a book called Truth in Song for Lovers of Truth.

1897 began with yet another book on the way, her Short Anthems. But that summer, as she was visiting Dubuque, Iowa, she climbed into a horse-drawn carriage. Something spooked the horse, sending it careening down the street. Clara was thrown from the runaway buggy and killed. She was 55.