The National Music of America - online book

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

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68 The National Music of America.
Boston, New England. Printed by Edes & Gill."
It has become quite the fashion to point shafts of sarcasm at Billings, and it must be confessed that some of his music builds a wofully ambitious edifice out of very slen­der material; yet occasionally one finds a peculiar strength in some of the expressions of his muse, and he may well be called a musical John Bunyan. There is a certain vigour in :
" Let tyrants shake their iron rod,
And Slavery clank her galling chains; We'll fear them not, we'll trust in God; New England's God forever reigns."
The man himself was an eccentric and uncouth character, easily ridiculed, even in his own days. He was born in Boston, October 7, 1746, and died there, September 29, 1800. He was a tanner, and is said to have chalked down his earliest compositions upon sides of leather. His musical educa-
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III