Independence (William Billings)

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  • (Posted 2015-03-11)   CPDL #34767:     
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2015-03-11).   Score information: Letter, 9 pages, 213 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Transcribed from The Singing-Master's Assistant, 1778.

General Information

Title: Independence
First Line: The states, O Lord, with songs of praise
Composer: William Billings
Lyricist: William Billings

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredAnthem

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

Published: 1778 in The Singing Master's Assistant

Description: Published in The Singing-Master's Assistant, 1778, pp. 91-99. Words by Billings. Independence is a patriotic sacred anthem; it is well to remember what life in Boston was like in 1778. There is a resemblance in the words to parts of J. S. Bach's early cantata, Gott is mein König (God is my King, BWV 71) of 1708; the music is very different. It is doubtful that Billings knew of it.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

The states, O Lord, with songs of praise
Shall in Thy strength rejoice.
And blest with Thy salvation raise
To heav'n their cheerful voice.
To the King they shall sing, Hallelujah.
Thy goodness and Thy tender care
Have all our fears destroyed.
A covenant of peace Thou made with us
Confirmed by Thy word,
A covenant Thou made with us
And sealed it with Thy blood.
To the King they shall sing, Hallelujah.
And all the continent shall sing,
Down with this earthly king.
No king but God.
To the King they shall sing, Hallelujah.
And the continent shall sing,
God is our rightful King.
And the continent shall sing,
God is our gracious King.
To the King they shall sing, Hallelujah.
Let us sing to the King, Hallelujah.
God is the King. Amen.
The Lord is His name. Amen.
May His blessing descend, world without end,
On every part of the continent.
May harmony and peace
Begin an never cease
And may the strength increase
Of the continent.
May American wilds be filled with His smiles,
And may the natives bow to our royal King.
May Rome, France, and Spain
And all the world proclaim
The glory and the fame
Of our royal King.
God is the King. Amen.
The Lord is His name. Amen.
Loud, loudly sing that God is the King.
May His reign be glorious,
America victorious,
And may the earth acknowledge
That God is the King.
Amen.