Savannah (William Billings)

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  • (Posted 2014-12-21)   CPDL #33780:     
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2014-12-21).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 30 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Oval note edition.
  • (Posted 2014-12-21)   CPDL #33782:   
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2014-12-21).   Score information: 7 x 10 in (landscape), 1 page, 53 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Note shapes added (4-shape).

General Information

Title: Savannah
First Line: Ah! Lovely appearance of death
Composer: William Billings
Lyricist: George Whitefield

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: Sacred   Meter: 88. 88 (L.M.)

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1778 in The Singing Master's Assistant

Description: Published in The Singing Master's Assistant, 1778, p. 3. Words by George Whitefield, 1753, his Hymn 48.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

[Excerpts]
Ah! Lovely appearance of death,
No sight upon earth is so fair;
Not all the gay pageants that breathe
Can with a dead body compare.

How blest is our brother, bereft
Of all that could burden his mind.
How easy the soul that has left
This wearisome body behind!

This earth is afflicted no more
With sickness, or shaken with pain;
The war in the members is o'er,
And never shall vex him again.

No anger henceforward, or shame,
Shall redden this innocent clay;
Extinct is the animal flame,
And passion is vanished away.