Friday, May 22, 2015

The Great Day, Judge Falkner

Falkerner, Judge. The song The Great Day was added to The Sacred Harp in 1860 (p. 386). It was composed by J. P. Rees. It originally had 5 stanzas "as sung by Judge Falkerner" of Alabama (whether or not the stanzas were actually written by him). "Judge Falkerner of Ala" is probably Thomas Jefferson Falkner. He was the son of Job Falkner and Mary Gulledge, born April 22, 1810 in Jasper County, Georgia and died April 22, 1895/6 in Montgomery, Alabama. One of his markers in the Marbury Baptist Church Cemetery (Autauga County, Alabama) reads "Rev. Judge Falkner April 1810 April 1896 A Baptist Minister & One of Gods Greatest." He was a lawyer, judge, Baptist preacher and held several offices in Alabama – including Senator. During the War Between the States he was a Lieutenant Colonel of the 8th Confederate Cavalry. "He was fully allied to the Democratic party." [Note: this song was replaced by Carry Me Home in 1902 and does not appear in any Cooper editions of The Sacred Harp. Nevertheless I found this man while researching other Sacred Harp composers and decided to include this information about him. The tune was removed from the Denson book in 1936 and then returned (with alto added) in 1966.]

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