Franklin Square Song Collection - online songbook

200 favorite songs and Hymns for Schools, Homes Lyrics & Sheet Music

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How true was the conception of the influence which the "harmony of sweet sounds" exerts over the soul, in the mind of him who said, " I would rather write a nation's ballads than make its laws." How different the law-giver's place in the estimation of the people from that of the bard. To the one they accord reverential respect; to the other a true heart-affection and love,handed down, undiminished by the lapse of centuries, from generation to gener­ation. The one lives in his laws, but what power have they over the heart so long as they allow it to
beat freely? The other lives in his songs, and they can cause the heart to beat and throb, and the soul to move and surge like the restless waves of the sea. There are few of us whose hearts have not been swayed by the power of national music—stirred by those grand anthems of liberty, the "Star Spangled Banner," and "Hail Columbia,"—few who have not, at some time, noted its effect upon others—the ecstatic rapture of the Frenchman thrilled by the inspiring notes of the "Marseillaise;" the deeper, sterner, joy­ous pride that wells up in the heart of" the German as
Tyrolese Air. Caroline Norton.
he hears the loved " Wacht am Rhein;" the patri­otism which fills the heart of the Highlander as he lis­tens to the well-known " Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled." But the influence of music over individuals is still stronger, sweeter, holier. How the heart bowed •down with crushing sorrow is comforted and soothed by its holy charm ! How, after long wanderings from the innocent paths of youth, the weary, sin-sick soul is recalled to the life of truth by hearing some well-remembered strain—perhaps once sung by a dear
angel mother in days gone by. In after-life, when youth's pleasures and hopes have given place to age's cares and disappointmentsjiow remembrances of the past are brought back, like bright pictures, by snatches of songs sung in those gay hours of long ago. Then blessed be music, with all its power of witchery and enchantment! Blessed be its holy mission of carry­ing us away from the bare, discouraging, realities of our lives back to the pleasure-fields of the past, or forward in anticipation to the glad joys of the future.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III