Appalachia Music

Oh I Want To See Him

Rufus Henry (R.E.) Cornelius was born January 24, 1872 in Blount County Alabama. Cornelius later moved to Texas, where he organized the music department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminar. He married Macon Temperance Burleson and seems to have stayed in Texas until his death in 1933. Cornelius is buried at Shannon Hill Rose Memorial Park in Fort Worth, Texas.

The lines above are the only tidbits I could find about R.E. Cornelius. He is most well known for penning the gospel song Oh I Want To See Him. As I googled around, I was surprised to see the Blind Pig & the Acorn url in the list of links. I had forgotten my own research which showed Cornelius came up with the tune for Give Me The Roses While I Live.

I grew up singing Oh I Want To See Him, and Pap and Paul still do the song fairly often. The song is a real toe tapper and fun to beat along with on the bass. I especially love hearing Pap lead the song.

Hope you enjoyed Pap’s lead singing and Paul’s flat top picking! If you have any details about R.E. Cornelius please share them!



“Blount County Gospel Choir holds seventh annual singing | | Blount Countian.” Front Page | | Blount Countian. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2013. <>.

“Give Me The Roses While I Live – Blind Pig & The Acorn.” Blind Pig & The Acorn. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2013. <>.

“RootsWeb: CORNELIUS-L Re: [CORNELIUS] HYMNOLOGIST R. H. CORNELIUS.” RootsWeb Mailing List Archives. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2013. <>.

“Rufus Henry Cornelius.” HymnTime.Com – Home Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2013. <>.

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  • Reply
    Dee Cochran
    November 11, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Grew up on it too !! Wonderful to hear Pap and Paul. Can just HEAR my late mother singing this at top of her voice while cleaning house ! It was # 54 in the ” songbook back home.” Special thanks to Pap and Paul.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Loved it, they are so good, I love to hear them sing Nearer My God To Thee, I listen to every morning, Get my day off to a good start. I could listen to them all day, but I can’t, got work to do. Thanks so much for sharing this. May you be blessed. Kay

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 30, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    I thought it was the same one. It looks like it has been treated well. They say a musical instrument gets better with age if you take care of it. This seems to have proven true for Pap and his guitar.

  • Reply
    September 30, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Ed-thats the guitar Paul plays now : ) Pap bought Paul a Taylor guitar back in the day when he first started playing (you know on the same day I wrecked my car LOL) Anyway somewhere along the way they switched guitars : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    September 30, 2013 at 9:42 am

    B. The video was made back in the early days of the Blind Pig the Acorn-so about 4 or 5 years ago : ) So glad you had a pretty day-we did too!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    September 29, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Maybe I goofed on my mid-day
    comment so I’ll try again.
    It’s always nice to hear and see
    the Blind Pig Gang do a Gospel Song.
    Pap did Great! And Paul’s guitar
    is the best. Love your music…Ken

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    September 29, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    A perfect Sunday treat!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 29, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Wonderful music today. Was this video done lately?
    All I saw about R. E. Cornelius was that the song has a copyright of 1916. I found it in only one of my older gospel books…”Radio and Revival Special” dated 1936, by R.E. Winsett, Dayton, Tn….I did not find his other song “Give me the roses while I live.”
    I would say with the little bit of bouncy meloday it would be perfect of revival meetings…Long song with four stanzas…and chorus.
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS..Sorry we missed you again!
    Maybe one of these days…
    By the way, it is beautiful here today…and so we are going up the plateau to the Catfish Cabin for dinner tonight with the children.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    You sure are lucky. Tipper, to have all that niceness and talent in one family.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I enjoyed the song. I loved the voices and guitar picking by Paul and Pap. Just one thing, wish we could see the bass player more.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    September 29, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Great Sunday singing. Makes me think I am ‘home’ again. So sorry we missed you at Western Carolina. We will be over there next weekend.
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    September 29, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Beautifully done!
    Ii would almost bet that Mr. Ed Ammons could answer his own question if he looked to Paul…

  • Reply
    Susie Swanson
    September 29, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Love it. Hadn’t heard it in quite a while. As for the history on it, I didn’t know all of this. Thanks for sharing and for the beautiful music . I always enjoy your family’s beautiful singing and picking..So much talent..

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 29, 2013 at 11:14 am

    What has happened to the guitar that the younger Pap is playing in the older picture? Does he still have it?

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    September 29, 2013 at 10:40 am

    two incredibly talented fellows — you’re right, it was great to hear Pap take lead. It’s a toe-tapper for sure.

  • Reply
    Gina S
    September 29, 2013 at 10:24 am

    It’s always a treat to hear your father and brother. This song with your dad doing lead was very special. Along with the words of the tune, I loved how each of them took the lead at times and at times complimented the other. The love and respect flowing back and forth between them made me smile and smile. God bless you all.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2013 at 8:43 am

    A great Sunday morning inspiration!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    September 29, 2013 at 8:08 am

    The music as always is beautiful

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 29, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Pap’s voice matches his sweet countenance. Nice job!

  • Reply
    September 29, 2013 at 7:13 am

    I found this to be an interesting post. Lots of Burlesons in Texas -including a town.Edward Burleson, a veteran of the war of 1812, was vice president of the Republic of Texas under Sam Houston 1841-1844.
    Sharon BURLESON Schuster

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