Hart Pease Danks was born in New Haven, Connecticut on April 6, 1834. His family moved to Saratoga Springs, N.Y. when Hart was 8 years old, and he began to study music with Dr. L. E. Whiting. At age 19, he was earning his living as a carpenter, in Chicago, where his father had a construction business, but soon gave it up to fulfill a career as a composer.
His first composition was included in William Bradleys Jubilee, entitled Lake Street. In 1856, Danks The Old Lane was published and he would go on to produce songs for stage shows such as Anna Lee. He returned to New York City in 1864 and his first operetta Pauline was published in 1872. His second operetta, Conquered by Kindness was published in 1881.
As a choirmaster, Danks produced several hymns and secular compositions including Not Ashamed of Christ and a full book of hymns Superior Anthems for Church Choirs. His popular songs were written in collaboration with several different lyricists including W.J.D Rutledge with whom he produced Will You Miss Me? and Little Bright Eyes. Another popular tune Dont Be Angry With Me, Darling was another successful song. In his lifetime, over 1300 hymns and popular songs were published but today is as the composer behind the lasting Standard Silver Threads of Gold, written in 1873 with lyrics by Eben E. Rexford.
Eben E Rexford, who in 1870 was the Editor of a Wisconsin Farm Journal, had developed the habit of writing verses which he occasionally used as space-fillers and it was one of these fillers that came to Danks attention. Danks then…