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Lyr Add: American Hymn

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American Hymn [Matthias Keller, 1866]


Joe Offer 16 May 04 - 03:24 AM
masato sakurai 16 May 04 - 09:59 AM
masato sakurai 16 May 04 - 12:18 PM
masato sakurai 16 May 04 - 01:19 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 May 04 - 04:49 PM
masato sakurai 09 Oct 04 - 09:40 PM
GUEST 04 Jul 08 - 01:21 PM
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Subject: ADD: American Hymn (Keller)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 May 04 - 03:24 AM

After I started the school songbook index thread, somebody asked me about this song.
I found two verses of in the Silver Burdett fifth-grade music text, Music in Our Country, and three verses are in Heart Songs. The Levy Sheet Music Collection has the 1866 sheet music with 4 verses, and that's what I used as the source of the following. Tune is from ccel.org, the Christian Classics Ethereal Library - it seems to match the sheet music.
Yes, it is jingoistic, isn't it?
-Joe Offer-

American Hymn
Matthias Keller, 1866

Speed our republic, O Father on high,
Lead us in pathways of justice and right;
Rulers as well as the ruled, one and all,
Girdle with virtue, the armor of might!
Hail! three times to our country and flag!
Rulers as well as the ruled, one and all,
Girdle with virtue, the armor of might!

Foeremost in battle, Freedom to stand,
We rush to arms when aroused by its call;
Still as of yore when George Washington led,
Thunders our war-cry, "We conquer or fall!"
Hail! three times to our country and flag!
Still as of yore when George Washington led,
Thunders our war-cry, "We conquer or fall!"

Faithful and honest to friend and to foe,
Willing to die in humanity's cause;
Thus we defy all tyrannical power
While we contend for our Union and laws!
Hail! three times to our country and flag!
Thus we defy all tyrannical power
While we contend for our Union and laws!

Rise up, proud eagle, rise up to the clouds,
Spread thy broad wing o'er this fair western world!
Fling from thy beak our dear banner of old!
Show that it still is for freedom unfurled!
Hail! three times to our country and flag!
Fling from thy beak our dear banner of old!
Show that it still is for freedom unfurled!


Click to play CCEL MIDI


Click to play Masato's transcription from Levy


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Subject: RE: Lyr: American Hymn
From: masato sakurai
Date: 16 May 04 - 09:59 AM

Background info from The Story of the Hymns: or, Hymns that Have a History: an Account of the Origin of Hymns of Personal Religious Experience, by Hezekiah Butterworth (New York: American Tract Society, 1875, p. 262):
   Speed our republic, O Father on high!

M. Keller, the author of Keller's American hymn, is an adopted citizen of the United
States. During the war for the Union a prize was offered for a national hymn, and
he felt a strong desire to produce such a composition for his adopted country. It
was first sung in New York, but awakened no interest.* Mr. Keller went to Boston,
gave his hymn to the bands to play, and it soon became a favorite in that city, and
was sung on all patriotic occasions where a large chorus was employed. It was sung
at the Peace Jubilee, at the reception of the battle flags at the Statehouse, by the
request of Gov. Andrew, and by an adopted custom is the first piece played on the
Common by bands on Independence days.
There are some records of this tune being played on ceremonial occasions (search at Making of America).

Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote "Angel of Peace" to this tune. See The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes (at the end of vol. 3):
   A HYMN OF PEACE

SUNG AT THE "JUBILEE," JUNE 15, 1869,
TO THE MUSIC OF SELLER'S[sic] "AMERICAN HYMN"

ANGEL of Peace, thou hast wandered too long!
Spread thy white wings to the sunshine of love!
Come while our voices are blended in song,--
Fly to our ark like the storm-beaten dove!
Fly to our ark on the wings of the dove,--
Speed o'er the far-sounding billows of song,
Crowned with thine olive-leaf garland of love,--
Angel of Peace, thou hast waited too long!

Joyous we meet, on this altar of thine
Mingling the gifts we have gathered for thee,
Sweet with the odors of myrtle and pine,
Breeze of the prairie and breath of the sea,--
Meadow and mountain and forest and sea!
Sweet is the fragrance of myrtle and pine,
Sweeter the incense we offer to thee,
Brothers once more round this altar of thine!

Angels of Bethlehem, answer the strain!
Hark! a new birth-song is filling the sky!-
Loud as the storm-wind that tumbles the main
Bid the full breath of the organ reply,--
Let the loud tempest of voices reply,--
Roll its long surge like the-earth-shaking main!
Swell the vast song till it mounts to the sky!
Angels of Bethlehem, echo the strain!
"Angel of Peace" is also in Albert Christ-Janer et al.'s American Hymns Old and New, vol. 1 (Columbia UP, 1980, p. 290), which says: "Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote his poem for AMERICAN HYMN by Matthias Keller, who had composed it for his own text, 'Speed Our Republic, O father on High.' Text and music were published together with other choral numbers in Music To Be Performed at the Grand National Peace Jubilee (Boston, 1869)" (Notes, p. 13). This poem is sometimes erroneously attributed to Keller.

When the Japanese Ministry of Education started music teaching at the country's public schools, it published three school songbooks in 1881-84, with the help of Luther Whiting Mason (supervisor of music, Boston public schools). In the second volume (1882, No. 48), this song was included as "Taihei no Kyoku" [Music of Peace] with a newly written set of words. Mason is believed to have been responsible for the selection. It ceased to be a school song, but the tune is still used as a hymn in Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church's Kyookai Sanbika [Church Hymnal] (1974, No. 159) as "Misakae to Chikara wa" (text: translation of Horatius Bonar's "Blessing and honour, and glory").

As a school song ("American Hymn", with Keller's text), it appeared in James M. McLaughlin, W. W. Gilchrist and George A. Veazie's The New Educational Music Course: Fourth Music Reader (Boston: Ginn & Company, 1905, 1906, pp. 102-103).
Here is Masato's scan from the Japanese texts.
-Joe Offer-




Click to play


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Subject: RE: Lyr: American Hymn
From: masato sakurai
Date: 16 May 04 - 12:18 PM

Sheet music is also at Public Domain Music.

    Keller's American Hymn


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Subject: RE: Lyr: American Hymn
From: masato sakurai
Date: 16 May 04 - 01:19 PM

"American Hymn" is on American Brass Quintet Brass Band: The Yankee Brass Band (New World), where its attribution is to Hosea Ripley, whom I believe to be the arranger.


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Subject: RE: Lyr: American Hymn
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 May 04 - 04:49 PM

The "American Hymn," along with The Pledge," is in the 1956 Silver Burdett Grade 5 "Music in Our Country," but both were removed from the 1962 printing of the same school book.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: American Hymn
From: masato sakurai
Date: 09 Oct 04 - 09:40 PM

There is a slight difference between "Keller's American Hymn" and "Angel of Peace" tunes, both of which are in Franklin Square Song Collection, No. 4, selected by J.P. McCaskey (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1887, pp. 76-77). The first 2 lines transcribed below.

X:1
T:Keller's American Hymn
M:4/4
L:1/4
K:F
c2 F G|A c z c|d2 c B|A2z2|
w:Speed our re-pub-lic O Fa-ther on high!
G2 G A|B2 cB|A2=B B|c2z2|
w:Lead us in path-ways of jus-tice and right;

X:2
T:Angel of Peace
M:4/4
L:1/4
K:F
c2 F G|(A c) c c|d2 c B|A2z2|
w:An-gel of Peace,_ thou hast wan-der'd too long!
G2 G A|B2 cB|A2=B B|c2z2|
w:Spread thy white wings to the sun-shine of love!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: American Hymn
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 01:21 PM

Placido Domingo An American Hymn lyrics

I have seen a summer day
that slowly opens like a rose
along a quiet road that wanders by
And I have smiled and wonder'd
Where it goes

I have stumbled through the night
Alone as any man can be
Then found a silent can you full of stars
And in my heart I heard them telling me
I was home

The genlie winds, the rains that fall
The tallest trees, and I'm part of it all

I've seen the silver mountain tops
And golden prairies on my way
Now everywhere I go across the land
I stand so proudly in the sun and say
I am home

I've dreamed of eden all my life
I find it more and more each day
Now everywhere I go across the land
I stand so proudly in the sun and say
I am home

Placido Domingo An American Hymn lyrics


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