BATTLE SONGS

for medium-low voice and piano

I. Concord (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
II. Buena Vista (Theodore O'Hara)
III. Shiloh (Herman Melville)
IV. In Flanders Fields (John McCrae)



Listen:

I. Concord



II. Buena Vista



III. Shiloh



IV. In Flanders Fields



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Texts:

I. Concord (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,

Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,

Here once the embattled farmers stood,

And fired the shot heard round the world.


The foe long since in silence slept,

Alike the Conqueror silent sleeps,

And Time the ruined bridge has swept

Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.


On this green bank, by this soft stream,

We set today a votive stone,

That memory may their deed redeem,

When like our sires our sons are gone.


Spirit, that made those heroes dare

To die, or leave their children free,

Bid Time and Nature gently spare

The shaft we raise to them and Thee.



II. Buena Vista (Theodore O'Hara)

The muffled drum's sad roll has beat;

No more on life's parade shall meet

That brave and fallen few.

No rumour of the foe's advance

now swells upon the wind;

No troubled thought at midnight haunts

Of loved ones left behind.


Long had the doubtful conflict raged

O'er all that stricken plain,

For never fiercer fight had waged

The vengeful blood of Spain;

And still the storm of battle blew,

Still swelled the glory tide;

Not long, our stout old Chieftain knew,

Such odds his strength could bide.


Twas in that hour his stern command

Called to a martyr's grave

The flower of his beloved land,

The nation's flag to save.

By rivers of their father's gore

His first-born laurels grew,

And well he deemed the sons would pour

Their lives for glory too.

Rest on, embalmed and sainted dead,

Dear as the blood ye gave,

Where valor proudly sleeps.

III. Shiloh (Herman Melville)

Skimming lightly, wheeling still,

The swallows fly low

Over the field in clouded days,

The forest-field of Shiloh

Over the field where April rain

Solaced the parched ones stretched in pain,

Through the pauses of the night

That followed the Sunday fight

Around the church of Shiloh,

The church, so lone, the log-built one,

That echoed to many a parting groan

And natural prayer

Of dying foemen mingled there

Foemen at morn, but friends at eve

Fame or country least their care:

(What like a bullet can undeceive!)

And now they lay low,

While over them the swallows skim,

And all is hushed at Shiloh.



IV. In Flanders Fields (John McCrae)

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.


We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.


Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.