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songs from the Aug 25 Eclectic Singing

In the rhythm of music a secret is hidden;
If I were to divulge it, it would overturn the world.
-- Jelaleddin Rumi --

Song files recently added to the "Eclectic Book".

Tune name Song description
Strange Race (pdf) This is Emily Dickinson's poem "I felt a funeral in my brain" set to Sacred Harp melody #569b (Sacred Throne).
Original manuscript followed by print text with stanzas not included in the singing version.
Our singing version ends with the (unwritten repeatable) phrase
And I, and Silence, some strange Race
Wrecked, solitary, here.
Bear CreekIn  The Sacred Harp, page 269

Clear two-page version for those who yearn to see the syllables neatly matched with the notes.

This song ranks fourty-second on the Song Use Statistics page, and it is usually sung at breakneck speed.
Below, there are plainly legible one-page PDF files for each voice, with graduated MIDI files.

Alto notes & words.    Alto leisurely MIDI.    Alto moderate MIDI.    Alto fast MIDI.    Alto faster MIDI.    Alto swift MIDI.   
Tenor notes & words.    Tenor leisurely MIDI.    Tenor moderate MIDI.    Tenor fast MIDI.
Bass notes & words.    Bass leisurely MIDI.    Bass moderate MIDI.   Bass faster MIDI.   Bass swift MIDI.
Worcester (Again, the single page 195 of The Sacred Harp is difficult to read; so here is a two-page version)

How beauteous are their feet Who stand on Zion's hill;
Who bring salvation on their tongues, And words of peace reveal!

Abraham Wood (1778).
Lyrics: Isaac Watts Hymns and Sacred Songs (1707-9), No. 20.

Wake every breath


A canon (round) (8s)

Wake every breath and every string, To bless the great Redeemer King;
His name through every clime adored! Let joy, and gratitude, and love,
Through all the notes of music move, And 'Jesus' sound on every chord.

William Billings (words and music) The New England Psalm Singer (Boston, 1770)

Original copperplate engraving of this song, with artwork by Paul Revere.

Connection Hail! Sacred Music hail! We offer at thy shrine
One perfect round complete in sound, celestial and divine.

William Billings: The Continental Harmony, 1794
alternate PDF file (with line break)
Original page from Yale (Beinecke rare book collection).
Referring page for above.

Thomas Town Great God how frail a thing is man, How swift his minutes pass,
His age contracts within a span, He blooms and dies like grass.

William Billings: The Continental Harmony (1794)
Words by Dr. Biles, with reference to Psalm Ps 90:5.

more Billings Okay we might as well create a page for works by William Billings
Jouissance Vous Donneray Jouissance vous donneray,
Mon Amy et vous meneray.
La ou pretend vostre esperance.
Vivante, ne vous laisseray;
Encore quand morte seray.
L'esprit en aura souvenance.

Jouyssance vous donneray
composer: Claudin de Sermisy (Chansons nouvelles, 1527)
poet Clément Marot (1495-1544)

Those who feel unprepared to sing in French can just sing the note-names.
In the YouTube examples, the phrasing is not the same.
(Perhaps there is no definitive phrasing.)

YouTube (Skip to timepoint 1:04)
YouTube (bass is easier to follow)
YouTube (Skip to timepoint 1:01)
Innappropriate cover art, but voices are clear.

Tenor notes.    Tenor MIDI (52).    Tenor MIDI (57).    Tenor MIDI (62).   
Bass notes.    Bass MIDI (52).    Bass MIDI (58).
Strike it up, Tabor
Strike it up, Tabor

With alto fixed

Strike it up Tabor and pipe us a favor,
thou shalt be well paid for thy labor:

Thomas Weelkes (ca. 1557-1602)
Status: alto part needs fixing (it is really for second soprano); bass doubles the 2nd soprano part.
YouTube: This version is easy to follow.
YouTube: a capella house performance; fast-paced
YouTube: with drum (tabor) accompaniment.
YouTube: seems like a different version.

I shall be satisfied

As sung by Rev. G. C. Wells.

(11s & 8s)

If I in thy likeness, O Lord, may awake
And shine a pure image of thee,
Then I shall be satisfied when I can break
These fetters of flesh and be free.

I know this stained tablet must first be washed white
To let thy bright features be drawn
I know I must suffer the darkness of night
To welcome the coming of dawn.

Source: from Joseph Hillman, The Revivalist (Troy, N.Y., 1868)
Proofread against:round note version.

(next tune-name) incipit line one
incipit line two

Source: ......


To be added maybe for next month: "Gethesmane" by J. L. Clapp (printed in Ancient Harmony Revived, 1849) (UCLA, YRL special collections).


Link to other singings in Los Angeles area
More information on Shape Note Singing in general
Contact: David Olson (310) 410-9033 for more details.