The National Music of America - online book

The Sources & Factors Influential In Forming America's Music.

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24 The National Music of America.
Lord here I lye
Lost to all hope of liberty."x
Yet such subjects were not unusual among the pious singers on both sides of the Atlan­tic. It was fortunate for a good cause that the Roundhead fought much better than he
1 One could easily form a literary " chamber of hor­rors " from a host of similar religious poems still existing. Here is a cheerful picture of future punishment:
" Eternal plagues and heavy chains, Tormenting racks and fiery coals, And darts t'inflict immortal pains, Dipt in the blood of damned souls."
About the year 1700, Wigglesworth published a poem (in Boston), on " Babes, Thieves, Heathen, and Heretics," in which he sings thus:
" They wring their hands, their caitiff hands, And gnash their teeth for terror, They cry, they roar, for anguish sore, And gnaw their tongues for horror. But get away without delay; Christ pities not your cry: Depart to hell, — there you may yell And roar eternally."
Nor ought one to forget the more modern hymn:
" Oh, lovely appearance of Death! No sight upon Earth is so fair; What glorious pageant of Earth Can with a dead body compare ? "
It would be an easy task to prove that gloom and relig­ion once walked hand in hand.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III