Monday, November 30, 2015

Undocumented aliens

As I was reading last week, I noticed a report that presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has promised to no longer use the term “illegal immigrants.” Jose Antonio Vargas, founder of the Define American group is leading a campaign to get presidential contenders to promise that they will not to use this term. Vargas says that words matter, claims that “‘illegal’ has become synonymous with ‘Mexican’,” and further states “Those words are offensive and hurtful.” He suggests the word “undocumented” in place of “illegal.” 

I have never heard the idea that folks think “illegal is synonymous with Mexican”. I have no interest in being offensive or hurtful. But... 

Yes, words do matter. And it is a matter of fact that some immigrants are illegal – that is, they are illegally in this country and in defiance of the immigration laws of the United States. Calling them undocumented won’t change that. The presence of folks in the U.S. undocumented and illegally is a problem with no easy solution. Pretending the problem is not a matter of law will not solve it.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving for the Harvest

1. We plow the fields and scatter
the good seed on the land,
but it is fed and watered
by God's almighty hand,
who sends the snow in winter,
the warmth to swell the grain,
the breezes and the sunshine,
and soft refreshing rain.

2. You only are the maker
of all things near and far.
You paint the wayside flower,
you light the evening star.
The wind and waves obey you,
by you the birds are fed;
much more to us, your children,
you give our daily bread.

3. We thank you, our creator,
for all things bright and good,
the seed-time and the harvest,
our life, our health, our food.
No gifts have we to offer
for all your love imparts,
but what you most would treasure -
our humble, thankful hearts.

All good gifts around us
are sent from heaven above,
then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord
for all his love.

Matthias Claudius, 1782; Translated by Jane M. Campbell, 1861

Friday, November 27, 2015

Our hearts we raise

1. To Thee, O Lord, our hearts we raise
In hymns of adoration,
To Thee bring sacrifice of praise
With shouts of exultation:
Bright robes of gold the fields adorn,
The hills with joy are ringing,
The valleys stand so thick with corn
That even they are singing.

2. And now, on this our festal day,
Thy bounteous hand confessing,
Upon Thine altar, Lord, we lay
The first-fruits of Thy blessing:
By Thee the souls of men are fed
With gifts of grace supernal;
Thou, Who dost give us daily bread,
Give us the Bread eternal.

3. We bear the burden of the day,
And often toil seems dreary;
But labor ends with sunset ray,
And rest is for the weary;
May we, the angel-reaping o'er,
Stand at the last accepted,
Christ's golden sheaves for evermore,
To garners bright elected.

4. Oh, blessèd is that land of God,
Where saints abide forever;
Where golden fields spread fair and broad,
Where flows the crystal river:
The strains of all its holy throng
With ours to-day are blending;
Thrice blessèd is that harvest-song
Which never hath an ending.

William Chatterton Dix, 1863

Thursday, November 26, 2015

For Thanksgiving

By the blog owner, Common Meter (25 Nov 2015) 

1. Our God a gracious Saviour is, 
A Shepherd and a King. 
He lifts us from our miry pits 
To feed on pastures green. 

2. He sets our feet upon a Rock: 
That Rock is Christ the Lord, 
Who leads us by the waters still-- 
The water of His word. 

3. Give thanks, give thanks with paeans loud, 
Strew palm leaves at His feet. 
Thank Jesus for His sacrifice, 
And for His mercy seat!

Public domain.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Jasper Barnes and The Sacred Harp

A tentative look at Jasper Barnes, First Vice-Chairman of The Sacred Harp, Fifth Edition revision committee:

Barnes, Jasper, served as the First Vice-Chairman of the revision committees that produced two versions of The Sacred Harp, Fifth Edition, and The Sacred Harp, Fourth Edition with Supplement. This is probably Jasper Ebenezer Barnes, who was the son of John and Catherine Barnes. He was born January 5, 1838 in Coffee County, Alabama. He married first Penelope Ann Miller (1840–1888) around 1860, and they had several children. After her death he married Sarah B. Sanders (1842–1924) circa 1890. He served the Confederacy during the Civil War, enlisting as a corporal in Company B, Alabama Hilliard's 4th Infantry Battalion. He was a farmer by occupation. Jasper Barnes died Oct in 27, 1924 Houston County. He and his wives are buried at the Clark Cemetery at Dothan in Houston County, Alabama. This Vice-Chairman, though, could possibly have been Jasper E. Barnes (1864–1916),[i] a son of Jasper Ebenezer Barnes. This Jasper Barnes married Callie Smith in 1886. In 1912 he was serving as a board director at the First National Bank of Dothan. He and his wife are buried at the Dothan City Cemetery in Houston County, Alabama. A third Jasper Ebenezer Barnes (1895–1972) in this family was the grandson of the first and nephew of the second, and would have been too young to have served on the committee with J. L. White. Two discovered items that connect Jasper Barnes of Dothan to Sacred Harp could only refer to the elder Barnes.[ii] This does not prove, however, that the son was not connected to Sacred Harp singing.

The Dothan Eagle, Dothan, Alabama, Friday, March 1, 1912 - Page 4
“Sacred Harp Sing,” The Dothan Eagle, Dothan, Alabama, Tuesday, June 13, 1944 - Page 2
The Musical Courier, Volume 85, No. 2, (New York, Whole No. 2205) July 13, 1922, p. 36
U.S. Federal Censuses 1860-1870 Dale County, 1880 Geneva County, 1900 Geneva County, 1910 Houston County, 1920 Houston County

[i] Genealogists disagree whether the son’s middle name was Ebenezer or Emanuel.
[ii] “Dothan, Ala.—The Sacred Harp Singers met here on June 4 for their regular monthly singing. The singers were called to order by E. O. Spivey (chairman). W. C. Tidwell, Jasper Barnes, Joel Tew, J. F. Patterson, John Woodham and R. S. Scarborough taking part. After the intermission, F. G. Barber, Ed Howell, John Edmonson, B. P. Poyner, O. G. Tidwell and James Helms sang.” (The Musical Courier, Volume 85, No. 2, New York, Whole No. 2205, July 13, 1922, p. 36) The son was deceased at the time, so this person could only be the elder Barnes or his grandson. “SACRED HARP SING. The public is invited to attend the annual Sacred Harp sing given in honor of Jasper Barnes at the home of his son, John Barnes, of Dothan route one, Sunday, June 18.” (The Dothan Eagle, Dothan, Alabama, Tuesday, June 13, 1944 - Page 2). Only the elder Jasper Barnes had a son named John.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Restoring and preserving grace

Psalm 138, Long Meter metrical psalm by Isaac Watts

With all my powers of heart and tongue
I'll praise my Maker in my song:
Angels shall hear the notes I raise,
Approve the song, and join the praise.

Angels that make thy church their care
Shall witness my devotions there,
While holy zeal directs my eyes
To thy fair temple in the skies.

I'll sing thy truth and mercy, Lord,
I'll sing the wonders of thy word;
Not all thy works and names below
So much thy power and glory show.

To God I cried when troubles rose;
He heard me, and subdued my foes;
He did my rising fears control,
And strength diffused through all my soul.

The God of heav'n maintains his state,
Frowns on the proud, and scorns the great;
But from his throne descends to see
The sons of humble poverty.

Amidst a thousand snares I stand,
Upheld and guarded by thy hand;
Thy words my fainting soul revive,
And keep my dying faith alive.

Grace will complete what grace begins,
To save from sorrows or from sins
The work that wisdom undertakes
Eternal mercy ne'er forsakes.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Coddling the American Mind, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lost in wonder, love and praise

Gratitude. (Common Meter)

When all thy mercies, O my God,
my rising soul surveys,
transported with the view, I'm lost
in wonder, love and praise.

Thy Providence my life sustained,
and all my wants redressed,
while in the silent womb I lay,
and hung upon the breast.

To all my weak complaints and cries
thy mercy lent an ear,
ere yet my feeble thoughts had learned
to form themselves in prayer.

Unnumbered comforts to my soul
thy tender care bestowed,
before my infant heart conceived
from whom those comforts flowed.

When in the slippery paths of youth
with heedless steps I ran,
thine arm unseen conveyed me safe,
and led me up to man.

Through hidden dangers, toils, and deaths,
it gently cleared my way;
and through the pleasing snares of vice,
more to be feared than they.

O how shall words with equal warmth
the gratitude declare,
that glows within my ravished heart?
but thou canst read it there.

Thy bounteous hand with worldly bliss
hath made my cup run o'er;
and, in a kind and faithful Friend,
hath doubled all my store.

Ten thousand thousand precious gifts
my daily thanks employ;
nor is the last a cheerful heart
that tastes those gifts with joy.

When worn with sickness, oft hast thou
with health renewed my face;
and, when in sins and sorrows sunk,
revived my soul with grace.

Through every period of my life
thy goodness I'll pursue
and after death, in distant worlds,
the glorious theme renew.

When nature fails, and day and night
divide thy works no more,
my ever grateful heart, O Lord,
thy mercy shall adore.

Through all eternity to thee
a joyful song I'll raise;
for, oh, eternity's too short
to utter all thy praise!

By Joseph Addison, 1712

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

All in Peace, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Monday, November 16, 2015

My, how times have changed

Beginning with its first Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) in 1951/1952, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) recognized homosexuality as a mental disorder or illness. This was built on a long-standing idea among the medical community that this was so. This began to change in the early 1970s -- not because of some major scientific breakthrough, but largely through protests such as the Stonewall riots and the protesting/boycotting of meetings of the APA. In 1973 the board of trustees of the APA voted to remove homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses in the DSM (issued 1974), which was confirmed by a small majority vote of the APA membership. Nevertheless, this was replaced by "Sexual Orientation Disturbance," which remained in the DSM until the idea was first modified, and then finally removed in 1987. The United Nations World Health Organization, which had considered homosexuality a mental illness since at least 1948, removed the classification in 1990 (while adding/substituting ego-dystonic sexual orientation to its list).

My! How times have changed. In a recently published study, researchers working with the Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine have now discovered that "homophobia" is a sign of mental disorder. From the abstract of the study, it appears that they define homophobia as negative behavior and attitudes toward homosexuals -- a pretty broad definition that apparently does not distinguish between simple prejudice and religious or moral reasoning. It would probably be fair to say that this study does not say that homophobia is a mental illness, but that it is an indicator of mental health disorders. 

I'm not overly impressed by psychiatrists, scientists and their studies. I derive my opinion on homosexual behaviour from my study of the Bible. If I am wrong there, show me where. Otherwise, I'll not shift to accommodate the prevailing winds, even if they do blow me away. But the mental disorder of homophobia raises a few questions. For example:

  • If "homophobia" is a mental disorder, shouldn't those who deny cakes and marriage licenses to homosexuals receive therapy and medication rather than fines and jail time?
  • If "homophobia" is a mental disorder, didn't the founders of the APA and other such organizations have a mental disorder? If they had a mental disorder then, why should we trust their findings later?
  • While we studying mental disorders, shouldn't we also study homophobia-phobics to see if they have a mental disorder, too? 
No matter. Among the current braintrust, even How you drink your coffee "could point to psychopathic tendencies."

Friday, November 13, 2015

How true, and other quotes

The posting of quotes by human authors does not constitute agreement with either the quotes or their sources.

"How true it is that the holiest saint is in himself a miserable sinner, and a debtor to mercy and grace to the last moment of his existence!"- J. C. Ryle

"The crowning work of CHRIST’s redemption demands praise for ever." -- Mike McInnis

"Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death." -- G. K. Chesterton

"I began discouraging note-taking [of sermons]...because I want them to see preaching in the worship service not as a lecture or as primarily an educational transmission to their minds, but as prophetic proclamation and as primarily aimed at their hearts." -- Jared C. Wilson

"You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed." -- Adoniram Judson Gordon 

"To the average jellyfish, convinced of the perfection and completeness of the invertebrate state, a backboned creature must seem little short of a freak." -- Ernest Barron Gordon

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

In memory of Margie Neal

Marjorie Koonce Neal died November 11, 2012 at the age of 84. She was born at Center, Shelby County, Texas, August 30, 1928 to Eli Koonce and Bessie Vail. She was a descendant of Elder James Carroll Koonce (1815-1889), who came to Shelby County, Texas from Tennessee via Louisiana.

Margie lived in several places in Texas -- including Center, Lufkin, Tyler and La Feria -- before moving to Riverside circa 1962. loved music. She was a member of the Janet Goeske Senior Center Choir, attended Sacred Harp singings, She also enjoyed working with ceramics. Marjorie is survived by a daughter, a son and daughter-in-law; 2 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren, and 6 "adopted" grandchildren. The funeral service was held on the 19th.

She regularly attended conventions and regional singings in Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as in Texas. Richard Russell wrote, "Margie will be remembered for adding a touch of Southern authenticity to our singings and for always leading her lessons in four beats with a graceful, relaxed style. I especially remember her leading Schenectady and The Last Words of Copernicus." Other songs she led include Shades of Night, (Cooper 192, 220, 112, 142) (Denson 61, 354b, 406).

I'll never forget her leading on the first day at the Southwest Texas Convention at McMahan in 2005. She called 517 (We'll Wear a Crown) and shocked me by pointing me out to pitch it (I wasn't even sitting on the front row). Later I would be interested to find in her 1927 edition Cooper Book a note penciled in at the top of this page (517) -- "On record in Washingon, D.C."

Margie is buried at Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier, Los Angeles County, California.

From her obituary, and from Richard Russell

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

B. F. White's grandson a composer?

In the 1909 Fifth Edition Sacred Harp (No. 149b) and 1911 Fourth Edition with supplement, the composer of the tune Noah’s Dove is listed as “J. C. White”. This song also appears in 1884 in The New Sacred Harp (73b). There the composer’s name is given as “C. J. White”. If this order of the initials is correct – and the typesetting of The New Sacred Harp seems generally much better than The Sacred Harp, Fifth Edition typesetting – it very well could be Charles Jackson “Charley” White, a grandson of B. F. White. This C. J. White was the son of William Decatur White (the oldest son of B. F. and Thurza) and Lydia A. E. Crutchfield Street. He was born September 22, 1855 in Harris County, Georgia. In his Brief History of the Sacred Harp, J. S. James identifies C. J. White as a singing school teacher, though he doesn’t mention him as a composer. He writes, “Several years ago [Harry D. White] moved to the state of Alabama and taught several singing schools in connection with his brother, C. J. White.” In 1880 he was living at Lithonia in DeKalb County, with James L. White (listed as his brother but actually his uncle James Landrum White; Charley’s half-sister Elizabeth Street is also living with them). His whereabouts in 1900 are unknown. He married Mattie Low Scott (1868-1933) in 1903 in Muscogee County, Georgia. They were living at Wacoochee, Lee County, Alabama by 1910 (where Mary and her family had already lived). Charley White died in Lee County October 20, 1922. He and Mary are buried in the Mechanicsville Cemetery in Lee County, Alabama. One death record lists his occupations as “Farmer & Music.”
264b    Noah’s Dove

A Brief History of The Sacred Harp and Its Author, J. S. James, 1904 (my electronic copy is “unpaged”)
U. S. Federal Censuses, Harris County, Ga (1860, 1870) DeKalb County, Ga (1880) Lee County, Ala. (1910, 1920)
Georgia, Marriage Records From Select Counties, 1828-1978 (
Alabama, Deaths and Burials Index, 1881-1974 (

Saturday, November 07, 2015

The Year of Baptist Books, and other book reviews

The posting of book reviews does not constitute endorsement of the books or book reviews that are linked.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

The death of despair, and other quotes

The posting of quotes by human authors does not constitute agreement with either the quotes or their sources.

"The mercy seat is the life of hope and the death of despair" -- C. H. Spurgeon

"Worship is no longer worship when it reflects the culture around us more than the Christ within us." -- A. W. Tozer

"Grace is God's freedom to act without any external necessity whatsoever." -- Copied

"God creates a people who will dwell in God’s place under the rule of the King." -- Oren R. Martin, Graeme Goldsworthy (more of a theological concept than a direct quote)

"It is traditional to let leaders decide on their own way to give their lesson, without the class unnecessarily correcting or overriding them. In the Sacred Harp we are all teachers, singers, and learners and no one person can ‘know it all’ but we can all make an effort." -- Tom Malone

"The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you." -- Werner Heisenberg

"In a community, the elements of style form templates and sets of rules that can reduce the complexity of the notation itself. Style in this sense would encompass ornamentation, variation, phrasing, speed, intonation as well as key concepts such as types of tunes..." -- Mikael Fernström

"It never will wear out. The more you sing it, the better you like it. That's what we think about The Sacred Harp and the Sacred Harp music." -- Paine Denson (excerpt from an interview by Alan Lomax in Birmingham, Ala., August 1942)

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Thoughts on Eternity by Kempster

The seasons passing quickly by,
Remind me I must shortly die;
How soon I cannot tell!
It may be weeks, or months, or years,
But O the thought brings many fears,
With me will it go well?
I think of those who die in sin,
Who never knew a change within.
But rebels lived and died;
For where God has not changed the heart
The word can only be, “Depart.
With Satan’s host abide.”
And some die dreaming all is well,
Because they can of good works tell;
But ‘twill be all in vain.
Many will seek to enter in,
But none can life eternal win,
If never born again!
And who are they? The Lord’s elect,
Not one of these will He reject.
For each was bought with blood.
All are included in that plan,
Which God worked out e’er time began.
Jesus as Surety stood!
These happy souls are called “The Bride”
And they in glory shall abide
Forever with the Lord.
There they shall reign with Christ their king.
And of His lovingkindness sing.
His faithfulness record.
But ah, how stands the case with me?
Shall I those mansions ever see,
And dwell with saints above?
Dear Lord, do grant it may be so,
For where they are, I want to go,
And bask with them in love.
Thus while I journey here below,
May I be more concerned to know,
How matters stand with me.
Let me not cold and careless grow,
Nor rest contented till I know
That I shall dwell with Thee.
Grace Kempster – October 1930

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Errata and addenda for Songs Before Unknown

Errata and addenda for Songs Before Unknown:a Companion to The Sacred Harp, Revised Cooper Edition, 2012


Butterfield, James Austin (May 18, 1837–July 6, 1891) was born in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England in 1837. He learned to play the violin by the time he was four years old. He dreamed of following music, but at age fifteen his parents put him to work in a trade. He came to the United States in 1856, first lighting in New England but shortly moving to Chicago. He gave violin lessons and taught singing schools, and later established Butterfield and Company in Indianapolis, Indiana. His composed When You and I Were Young for lyrics written by George Washington Johnson of Hamilton, Ontario. The tune was first published by Butterfield in 1866 and later by Oliver Ditson and Company. In 1868 he was made director of the Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church choir in Chicago. He moved to Connecticut for a period of time, but returned to Chicago and his directorship of the Centenary Church choir in 1888. He was the second president of the Music Teachers National Association. Though he is usually remembered as a secular composer, he also composed religious tunes -- for example, Victory Over Sin for words by Henry S. Perkins (1833-1914). Butterfield died in Chicago and is buried in Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. B. L. Andrews used When You and I Were Young as a template for the tune Long Ago, Comrades.
        582      Long Ago, Comrades (When You and I Were Young)

Butterfield, James Austin 
A Hundred Years of Music in America, William Smythe Babcock Mathews, Chicago, IL: G. L. Howe, 1889, pp. 647-650

Page 86: Add “Steven Helwig passed away Sunday, January 21, 2018 in Gridley, Butte County, California.”

Page 94: Add “Elder Johnny Lee died November 1, 2016 and Delorese Lee died February 12, 2017. They are buried at the High Bluff Cemetery, Hoboken, Brantley County, Georgia.”

Page 242: Add “Margaret died March 6, 2020. Tommie died January 24, 2024. They are buried at the Mabson Methodist Church Cemetery in Dale County, Alabama.”

  • Page 40, Tenth Edition: Change "This book is printed sometime after 1927..." to "This book is printed sometime after 1936..." (B. P. Poyner and the Faust brothers still owned the book in 1936.)
  • Page 79, Leonard C. Everett: Add "L. C. Everett is probably the son of Nathan Everett and Sarah Holden."
  • Page 138, in E. F. Williams bio: change "W. L. Williams (q.v.)" to "W. L. Williams (q.v., pp. 250-251)"
  • Page 143, Gathering Home (33): TEXT: replace "Isaac Watts, 1709, stanza 1..." with "Isaac Watts, 1707, stanza 1..."
  • Page 144, Sessions (38a); Add a footnote: "Altered by Rippon from “The Hardy Soldier” by Isaac Watts, which was written circa 1695."
  • Page 144, Lenox (40); Text: replace "Charles Wesley, 1750" with "Hymns for New-Year’s-Day, Bristol: 1749." Add a footnote "Attributed to Selina Hastings in the 18th century."
  • Page 148 Saints Bound for Heaven (60); TEXT: consider replacing "Elliott’s The Sacred Lyre, 1828" with "Social and Camp-meeting Songs, for the Pious (9th edition), Armstrong and Plaskitt, 1827." (Thanks to Wade Kotter)
  • Page 150, Show Pity, Lord (73a); TEXT: replace "Isaac Watts, 1707" with "Isaac Watts, 1719."
  • Page 162 Morality (136); TEXT: replace "Hannah More, 1803" with "Hannah More, circa 1762; “Florella’s Song” in A Search After Happiness (alt.)."
  • Page 162, Liberty (137); TEXT: Replace "Unknown" with "“Anthem for the Fourth of July” (Stanza 2), author unknown, printed in The Weekly Museum (New York, NY), Vol. VIII, No. 373, July 4, 1795, p. 4." (Thanks to Rachel Hall)
  • Page 163 Complainer (141); TEXT: replace "Southern Harmony, 1835" with "John Purify’s A Selection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs in Two Parts, 1831 (maybe 1826)." (Thanks to Wade Kotter)
  • Page 168 Star in the East (175); TEXT: replace "Reginald Heber, 1811" with "Anonymous, The Brick Church Hymns, New York: 1823." (Thanks to Gaylon Powell)
  • Page 169, The Gospel Invitation: Change "Charles Wesley, 1747, with added chorus text that appears as stanza one of Room For All in Songs of the Pentecost, 1894; words credited to L. B. Bates" to "Anonymous from The Psalmist, Stowe and Smith, 1844, Hymn No. 418 (Though incorrectly credited there to Huntingdon’s Collection)" [This hymn, titled "Yet there is room," only shares the first line with Wesley's 1747 hymn.]
  • Page 176, The Christian’s Song (240): Change text attribution to "Abner Read, in Love Triumphant, or Constancy Rewarded, Troy, NY: Luther Pratt and Co., 1797" (Thanks to Gerald Montagna). Add to tune attribution "Alto by Minnie Floyd, 1902"
  • Page 179, Restoration (268a): Change "Alto from The Sacred Harp, 4th Edition with Supplement, J. L. White, 1911" to "Alto arranged from The Sacred Harp, 5th Edition, J. L. White, 1909 (possibly by Rev. A. B. Carrell)"
  • Page 181, Cross for You and Me: Change "Thomas Shepherd, 1693" to "Stanza 1: Thomas Shepherd (alt.) 1693; Stanza 2: Plymouth Collection of Hymns and Tunes, Henry Ward Beecher, 1855)"
  • Page 191, Jesus is My Friend (345a): Change tune attribution from "Arranged by J. P. Rees for 1860 Sacred Harp" to "Arranged by J. P. Rees for 1870 Sacred Harp
  • Page 201, The Finest Flower (411): Change "Joseph Swain, 1834" to "Joseph Swain, 1792 (alt.)" [Note: This appeared in Swain’s 1792 book Walworth Hymns]
  • Page 201, The Loved Ones (413): Change "11s.8s." to "11s.8s.D." To clarify text, add "Margaret Courtney, by 1844; Printed in The Poetical Works of Margaret Courtney, 1850"
  • Page 213, Behold A Sinner (479): Change "John Dobell’s Selection, 1810…" to "John Dobell in his Selection, 1810..." [Note: In his book, Dobell credits himself for the 3 stanzas of this hymn, in the place he normally lists the author.]
  • Page 216, Peterborough (504a): Change "Ralph Harrison, 1786" to "The Musical Instructor, Lewis Seymour and Thaddeus Seymour, New York, NY: Printed by John C. Totten, 1803" (Thanks to Chris Brown and Karen Willard)
  • Page 216, North Jersey (504b): Change "The Christian’s Magazine, 1760" to "George Horne, The Christian’s Magazine, 1760." (Thanks to Aldo Ceresa and Gaylon Powell)
  • Page 220,  Heavenly Grace:  TEXT Change "A Choice Collection, Occum, 1774" to "James Maxwell, 1759" [This is in Maxwell’s, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, in Three Books] Thanks to Chris Brown for finding this. TUNE Change "Thomas Willard Loftin, 1911/1927" to "Thomas Willard Loftin, 1909/1927"
  • Page 223, Gone Home (550): Change "W. T. Dale, circa 1886" to "W. T. Dale, 1884; first published in The Gospel Shower, 1885" (Thanks to Erin Fulton)
  • Page 227, Savannah (583): Change "William Billings, 1778" to "Arranged from a tune by William Billings, 1778" (Thanks to Ron Trial and others)
  • Page 306, Footnote 156: Add "J. L. White's 5th edition, 2 years...(combined 106 years)"
  • Page 311, Footnote 207: Add "This song appeared in J. L. White's 1909 Fifth Edition of The Sacred Harp, page 214 (new section)."

Monday, November 02, 2015

Songs Before Unknown now available

Songs Before Unknown: a Companion to The Sacred Harp, Revised Cooper Edition, 2012 By R. L. Vaughn, Mt. Enterprise, TX: Waymark Publications, 2015, 330 pages.  ISBN 978-0-69252-247-9. $15.00

Songs Before Unknown is now available. A PDF sample of its first fifteen pages can be seen HERE. You may be able to pick it up at a Sacred Harp singing and save postage costs (though the opportunities to do so are limited; it should be available at the Houston, Tex. singing on Dec. 15, 2015 & Chris Noren might have some at the singing at Panama City, Fl.).  Otherwise, order from (and make checks or money order payable to):

Waymark Publications
3528 CR 3168 W
Mt. Enterprise, TX 75681

Retail price $15.00 + $4.00 shipping and handling.

[PayPal payment option also available; e-mail]

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Divine aid implored

"Looking upwards in a storm" by William Cowper, from Olney Hymns, 1779

1. God of my life, to Thee I call; 
Afflicted, at Thy feet I fall; 
When the great water-floods prevail, 
Leave not my trembling heart to fail. 

2. Friend of the friendless and the faint, 
Where should I lodge my deep complaint? 
Where but with Thee, whose open door 
Invites the helpless and the poor? 

3. Did ever mourner plead with Thee 
And Thou refuse that mourner’s plea? 
Does not the word still fixed remain 
That none shall seek Thy face in vain? 

4. Fair is the lot that’s cast for me; 
I have an Advocate with Thee. 
They whom the world caresses most 
Have no such privilege to boast. 

5. Poor thou I am, despised, forgot, 
Yet God, my God, forgets me not; 
And he is safe, and must succeed, 
For whom the Lord vouchsafes to plead. 

6. Then hear, O Lord, my humble cry 
And bend on me Thy pitying eye. 
To Thee their prayer Thy people make: 
Hear us for our Redeemer's sake.