My life's a shade (William Knapp)

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  • CPDL #23073:     
Editor: Tim Henderson (submitted 2011-01-29).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 386 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: "A Funeral Hymn" From New Church Melody: Being a Set of Anthems, Psalms, Hymns, &c. on Various Occasions. In Four Parts with a great Variety of other Anthems, Psalms, Hymns, &c. composed after a Method entirely new, and never printed before 1753.
  • CPDL #10870:     
Editor: Tim Henderson (submitted 2006-01-28).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 43 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: late harmony version from Centenary Tunebook (1839), where the tune is titled 'Macclesfield'.

General Information

Title: My life's a shade
Composer: William Knapp
Lyricist: Samuel Crossman

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

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella or organ

Published: 1753

Description: A funeral hymn first published in the first edition of William Knapp's New Church Melody [1753]. Hymn Tune Index tune number 2092.

External websites:

Further verses at
http://stoddardfamily.home.comcast.net/L/138.html (Northern Harmony site) or
http://www.ccel.org/w/wesley/hymn/jwg09/jwg0931.html (Methodist Hymnbook)

Original text and translations

English.png English text

My life's a shade; my days
Apace to death decline;
My Lord is life, he'll raise
My dust again, e'en mine.

Chorus:
Sweet truth to me, I shall arise
And with these eyes my savior see.

My peaceful grave shall keep my bones till that sweet day,
I wake from my long sleep, and leave my bed of clay.

My Lord his angels shall their golden trumpets sound;
At whose most welcome call my grave shall be unbound…

I said sometimes with tears, Ah me! I'm loth to die;
Lord, silence thou those fears, my life's with thee on high…

What means my trembling heart, to be thus shy of death ?
My life and I shan't part, tho' I resign my breath…

Then welcome harmless grave; by thee to heav'n I'll go;
My Lord, his death shall save me from the flames below…