Here is a song, which doth belong

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General information

Here is a song, which doth belong is a text first recorded in the Hymn Tune Index in 1794, as the underlay of the tune 'West-Sudbury' by William Billings. Billings attributes the text as 'Words from Mr. John Peck', but only gives one Double Common Metre verse. Elisha West of Woodstock, Vermont similarly set the hymn to a Double Common Meter tune ('Solemn Song') in his collection The Musical Concert (Northampton: 1802).

A Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors, compiled by Paul Himes and Jonathan Wilson (Greenfield, MA: published by Clark & Hunt, 1818) gives seven Common Metre verses of the text, as Hymn 123.

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Text and translations

English.png English text

William Billings, The Continental Harmony (Boston: 1794)


Here is a song, which doth belong,
To all the human race,
Concerning death, who steals the breath,
And blasts the comely face.

Come listen all unto the call,
Which I do make to day,
For you must die, as well as I,
And pass from hence away.

 

Smith and Jones, Hymns Original and Selected, Fifth Ed., 1812

Address to all
1. I sing a song which doth belong,
To all the human race,
Concerning death, which steals the breath,
And blasts the comely face.

2. Come listen all unto my call,
Which I do make to day,
For you must die as well as I,
And pass from hence away.

3. No human power can stop the hour,
Wherein a mortal dies;
A Caesar may be great to day,
Yet death may close his eyes.

4. Though some do strive and do arrive
To riches and renown;
Enjoying health, and swim in wealth,
Yet death will bring them down:

5. Though beauty grace your comely face,
With roses white and red,
A dying fall will spoil it all,
For Absalom is dead.

6. Though you require the best attire,
Appearing fine and fair,
Yet death will come into the room,
And strip you of them there.

7. For princes high and beggars die,
And mingle with the dust;
The rich, the brave, the poorest slave,
The wicked and the just.

 

Himes & Wilson, A Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors, 1818

Address to all
I sing a song which doth belong
To all the human race,
Concerning death, which steals the breath,
And blasts the comely face.

Come, listen all unto the call,
Which I do make today,
For you must die as well as I,
And pass from hence away.

No human power can stop the hour
Wherein a mortal dies;
A Caesar may be great to-day,
Yet death may close his eyes.

Though some do strive and do arrive
To riches and renown,
Enjoying health, and swim in wealth,
Yet death will bring them down.

Though beauty grace your comely face,
With roses white and red,
A dying fall will spoil it all,
For Absalom is dead.

Though you require the best attire,
Appearing fine and fair,
Yet death will come into the room,
And strip you of them there.

For princes high and beggars die,
And mingle with the dust;
The rich, the brave, the poorest slave,
The wicked and the just.

 

William Walker, Southern and Western Pocket Harmonist, 1846

An Address to All
1. I sing a song which doth belong
To all the human race,
Concerning death, which steals the breath,
And blasts the comely face;

Come listen all unto my call
Which I do make today,
For you must die as well as I,
And pass from hence away.

2. No human power can stop the hour
Wherein a mortal dies;
A Caesar may be great today,
Yet death will close his eyes:

Though some do strive and do arrive
To riches and renown.
Enjoying health and swim in wealth,
Yet death will bring them down.

3. Though beauty grace your comely face
With roses white and red,
A dying fall will spoil it all,
For Absalom is dead;

Though you acquire the best attire,
Appearing fine and fair,
Yet death will come into the room,
And strip you naked there.

4. The princes high and beggars die,
And mingle with the dust.
The rich, the brave, the Negro slave,
The wicked and the just;

Therefore prepare to meet thy God,
Before it be too late.
Or else you'll weep, lament and cry,
Lost in a ruined state.

Reference

  • Himes, Paul, and Jonathan Wilson. 1818. A Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors. Greenfield, Massachusetts: Clark & Hunt. 360 pp.
  • Smith, Elias, and Abner Jones. 1812. Hymns Original and Selected For the Use of Christians, Fifth Edition, Corrected. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Herald Office. 360 pp.

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