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A Great Hope Fell: Songs from Civil War

Song Cycle by Jake Heggie (b. 1961)


1. Prologue: Ships that pass in the night [
 text not yet verified 
]

Language: English

Authorship


Out in the sky the great dark clouds are massing;
      I look far out into the pregnant night,
Where I can hear a solemn booming gun
      And catch the gleaming of a random light,
That tells me that the ship I seek is passing, passing.

My tearful eyes my soul's deep hurt are glassing;
      For I would hail and check that ship of ships.
I stretch my hands imploring, cry aloud,
      My voice falls dead a foot from mine own lips,
And but its ghost doth reach that vessel, passing, passing.

O Earth, O Sky, O Ocean, both surpassing,
      O heart of mine, O soul that dreads the dark!
Is there no hope for me? Is there no way
      That I may sight and check that speeding bark
Which out of sight and sound is passing, passing?


2. Africa [
 text verified 1 time
]

Language: English

Authorship


Thus she had lain
 [ ... ]


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3. When Johnny comes marching home [
 text verified 1 time
]

Language: English

Authorship

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When Johnny comes marching home again,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
We'll give him a hearty welcome then
Hurrah! Hurrah!
The men will cheer and the boys will shout
The ladies they will all turn out
And we'll all feel gay,
When Johnny comes marching home.

The old church bell will peal with joy
Hurrah! Hurrah!
To welcome home our darling boy
Hurrah! Hurrah!
The village lads and lassies say
With roses they will strew the way,
And we'll all feel gay
When Johnny comes marching home.

Get ready for the Jubilee,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
We'll give the hero three times three,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
The laurel wreath is ready now
To place upon his loyal brow
And we'll all feel gay
When Johnny comes marching home.

[ ... ]

4. Letter to President Lincoln from Annie Davis [
 text verified 1 time
]

Language: English

Authorship


              Belair [Maryland] Aug 25th 1864

Mr president

  It is my Desire to be free. to go to see my people on the eastern
shore. my mistress wont let me    you will please let me know if we are
free. and what i can do. I write to you for advice. please send me
word this week. or as soon as possible and oblidge.


5. Was my brother in the battle? [
 text not yet verified 
]

Language: English

Authorship

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Tell me, tell me, weary soldier from the rude and stirring wars,
Was my brother in the battle where you gained those noble scars?
He was ever brave and valiant, and I know he never fled.
Was his name among the wounded or numbered with the dead?
Was my brother in the battle when the tide of war ran high?
You would know him in a thousand by his dark and flashing eye.

    Tell me. tell me, weary soldier, will he never come gain,
    Did he suffer 'mid the wounded or die among the slain?

Was my brother in the battle when the noble Highland host
Were so wrongfully outnumbered on the Carolina coast?
Did he struggle for the Union 'mid the thunder and the rain,
Till he fell among the brave on a bleak Virginia plain?
Oh, I'm sure that he was dauntless and his courage ne'er would lag
While contending for the honor of our dear and cherished flag.

Was my brother in the battle when the flag of Erin came
To the rescue of our banner and protection of our fame,
While the fleet from off the waters poured out terror and dismay
Till the bold and erring foe fell like leaves on Autumn day?
When the bugle called to battle and the cannon deeply roared,
Oh! I wish I could have seen him draw his sharp and glittering sword.


6. A great Hope fell [
 text verified 1 time
]

Language: English
Translation(s): FRE

Authorship

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

    * FRE French (Guy Laffaille) , title unknown, copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

A great Hope fell
You heard no noise
The Ruin was within
Oh cunning wreck that told no tale
And let no Witness in

The mind was built for mighty Freight
For dread occasion planned
How often foundering at Sea
Ostensibly, on Land

A not admitting of the wound
Until it grew so wide
That all my Life had entered it
And there were troughs beside

A closing of the simple lid
That opened to the sun
Until the tender Carpenter
Perpetual nail it down --


7. Glory [
 text verified 1 time
]

Language: English

Authorship


Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on."
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
While God is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is Wisdom to the mighty, He is Succour to the brave,
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of Time His slave,
Our God is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.


8. America [
 text verified 1 time
]

Language: English

Authorship


The gold of her promise
 [ ... ]


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