Something for the weekend.  Chester,  America’s unofficial national anthem during the American Revolution.  Written by William Billings in 1770, he added new lyrics to the song in 1778 and transformed it into a battle hymn for the Patriots in their war for independence.  The song reveals the strong religious element that was ever present on the American side of the conflict, with most Patriots viewing the war as a crusade.

Let tyrants shake their iron rods,
And Slav’ry clank her galling chains.

We fear them not, we trust in God.
New England’s God forever reigns.

Howe and Burgoyne and Clinton, too,

With Prescott
and Cornwallis joined,
Together plot our overthrow,
In one infernal
league combined.

When God inspired us for the fight,

Their ranks were broke, their lines were forced,
Their ships were
shattered in our sight,
Or swiftly driven from our coast.

The foe comes on with haughty stride,

Our troops
advance with martial noise;
Their vet’rans flee before our youth,
gen’rals yield to beardless boys.

What grateful

off’ring shall we bring,
What shall we render to the Lord?
hallelujahs let us sing,
And praise his name on ev’ry chord!

Here is a spirited rendition:

And to finish, an orchestral version:

Published in: on November 5, 2011 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Chester  
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