Friday, June 30, 2017

Give Me the Roses Now

Following are three stanzas of the song we Sacred Harp singers know as Odem. The words in The Original Sacred Harp were arranged by T. J. Denson for his song. Warren Steel dates the words -- written by James Rowe -- to 1915. I found the three stanzas below in "Give Me the Roses Now" -- tune by R. H. Cornelius, copyrighted in 1925. It is No. 104, a 6/4 time song, a duet of soprano and alto in G in Good Songs: Songs for Radio, Television and General Use (Dwight Brock, Editor, Stamps-Baxter Music & Printing Company, Dallas, TX, 1960). An arrangement of the melody can be found here. Hymn Time (as of today) lists 2658 texts written by Rowe!

1. Wonderful things of folks are said,
When they have passed away;
Roses adorn the narrow bed,
Over the sleeping clay.

2. Praises are heard not by the dead,
Roses they cannot see;
Let us not wait till souls have fled,
Generous friends to be.

3. Faults are forgiven when folks lie
Cold in the narrow bed;
Let us forgive them ere they die:
Now should the words be said.

Chorus: Give me the roses while I live,
Trying to cheer me on;
Useless the flowers that you give
After the soul is gone.

Good thoughts!

The following song by Jimmy Martin seems to be an arrangement of Cornelius's tune (I can't really tell).

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