Sunday, March 13, 2011

Let Tyrants Shake Their Iron Rods

My wife Laura sent me the words to the following song which comes from the era of the American War of Independence. According to Cyberhymnal,

This hymn is of in­ter­est be­cause of its his­tor­i­cal back­ground. Known as the “Bat­tle Hymn of the Re­vo­lution”:
[It] was al­most as fa­mous in its day as the “Bat­tle Hymn of the Re­pub­lic” at a lat­er time. Ev­ery­where, in church and home, by the child­ren and the ag­ed, these words were sung with pas­sion­ate fer­vor. The sol­diers knew them by heart, and to the sound of fife and drum they sang them as they adv­anced to meet the foe. This Bat­tle Hymn con­trib­ut­ed not a lit­tle to the win­ning of the Re­vo­lu­tion­ary War.
Smith, pp. 250-1

It is sung to the hymn tune Chester.

Let tyrants shake their iron rods,
And slavery clank her galling chains:
We see them not; we trust in God:
New England’s God forever reigns.

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