Ida Lilliard Reed

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Ida Lilliard Reed (November 30, 1865 – July 8, 1951) was an American religious writer and music composer from Barbour County, West Virginia. She composed cantatas, poems, and hymns, totaling over 2,000 works.[1]

Reed's works were taken up by several different Protestant denominations and translated into several languages. Her most popular hymn was "I Belong to the King" which was estimated by publishers Hall, Mack & Co. to have a circulation of four million copies.[2] In 1940, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers recognized Reed’s "substantial contribution to American music" by awarding her a weekly "bonus.”[3] Reed’s family homestead near Arden, West Virginia was listed on the National Register of Historic Places until 1991, when it was destroyed by fire.[4] She is buried at Ebenezer Methodist Church at Arden.

Notable hymns[edit]

  • "I Belong to the King" (1896)
  • "I Cannot Drift Beyond Thy Love" (1906)
  • "Lift Thy Face to the Light!"
  • "Somebody’s Praying for You"
  • "Steady, Brother, Steady" (c. 1913)


  1. ^ "Ida Lilliard Reed". Cyber Hymnal. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  2. ^ "Ida Reed Writes Mountain Music for the Omnipotent" Baltimore and Ohio Magazine June 1940: 40
  3. ^ "American Composers Award Bonus to Woman Author of 200 Hymns" Christian Science Monitor January 19, 1940: 2
  4. ^ "Ida L. Reed Home Destroyed in Early Morning Fire; Structure Was One of County's Historic Landmarks" The Barbour Democrat July 17, 1991: 1

Additional sources[edit]

  • Songs of the Hills (1940), Boston: Meador Publishing Company (an anthology of Reed's works)