Some American Antislavery Songs

 

 


Invocation

Rev. John Pierpont

America

1829

Genius, Sept 2, 1829, Songs, Picknick, Melodies

 

With thy pure dews and rains,

Wash out, O God, the stains

From AfricÕs shore;

And, while her palm trees bud,

Let not her childrenÕs blood

With her broad NigerÕs flood

Be mingled more!

 

Quench, righteous God, the thirst

That CongoÕs sons hath cursed-

The thirst for gold!

Shall not thy thunders speak,

Where MammonÕs altars reek,

Were maids and matrons shriek,

Bound, bleeding, sold?

 

HearÕst thou, O God, those chains,

Clanking on FreedomÕs plains,

By Christians wrought!

Them, who those chains have worn,

Christians have higher borne,

Christians have bought!

 

Cast down, great God, the fanes

Round us have risen -

Temples, whose priesthood pore

Moses and Jesus oÕer

Then bolt the black manÕs door,

The poor manÕs prison!

 

Wilt thou not, Lord,  at last,

From thine own image, cast

Away all cords,

But that of love, which brings

Man, from his wanderings,

Back to the King of kings,

The Lord of lords!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer for the Slave

Wesley (?)

Hamburgh

Songs, Free Soil, Freedom

 

O let the prisonersÕ mournful sighs,

As incense in thy sight appear!

Their humble wailings pierce the skies,

If haply they may feel thee near.

 

The captive exiles make their moans,

From sin impatient to be free:

Call home, call home thy banished ones!

Lead captive their doubt and fear!

 

Stand by them in the fiery hour,

Their feebleness of mind defend;

And in their weakness show thy power,

And make them patient to the end.

 

 

Arming, But Not With Carnal Weapons

Anonymous

Olivet

Picknick, Collection, Free Soil, Harp, Freedom

 

Ye spirits of the free,

Can ye forever see

Your brother man,

A yokÕd and torturÕd slave,

ScourgÕd to an early grave,

And raise no hand to save,

EÕen when you can?

 

Shall tyrants from the soul

That they in pomp may roll,

GodÕs image tear,

And call the wreck their own;

While, from thÕ eternal throne,

They shut the stifled groan,

And bitter prayer?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where is Thy Brother?

E.L.F.

Ortonville

Report, Songs, Melodies, Hymns, Harp, Free Soil, Freedom

Mentioned in Liberator. Sung at 18th Annual Mtg of American Antislavery Society, 1852

 

What mean ye that bruise and bind

My people, saith the Lord,

And starve your craving brotherÕs mind,

That asks to hear my word?

 

What mean ye that ye make them toil

Through long and dreary years,

And shed like rain upon your soil

Their blood and bitter tears?

 

What mean ye that ye dare to rend

The tender motherÕs heart;

Brothers from sisters, friend from friend

How dare you bid them part?

 

What mean ye, when GodÕs bounteous hand

To you so much has given,

That from the slave who tills your land

You keep both earth and heaven?

 

When at the judgment God shall call,

Where is thy brother?  say,

What mean ye to the Judge of all,

To answer on that day?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Are Ye Truly Free?

J. R. Lowell

Martyn

1843

Liberator, Free Soil, Harp, Freedom

 

Men!  whose boast it is that ye

Come of fathers brave and free;

If there breathe on earth a slave,

Are ye truly free and brave?

Are ye not base slaves indeed,

Men unworthy to be freed?

If ye do not feel the chain,

When it works a brotherÕs pain.

 

Women!  who shall one day bear

Sons to breathe GodÕs bounteous air,

If ye hear without a blush,

Deeds to make the roused blood rush

Like red lava through your veins,

For your sisters now in chains;

Answer!  are ye fit to be

Mothers of the brave and free?

 

Is true freedom but to break

Fetters for our own dear sake,

And, with leathern hearts forget

That we owe mankind a debt?

No! true freedom is to share

All the chains our brothers wear,

And with hand and heart to be

Earnest to make others free.

 

They are slaves who fear to speak

For the fallen and the weak;

They are slaves, who will not choose

Hatred, scoffing, and abuse,

Rather than, in silence, shrink

From the truth they needs must think;

They are salves, who dare not be

In the right with two or three.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Anti-Slavery Call

Anonymous

When I Can Read My Title Clear

Picknick, Melodies, Harp, Libetry, Free Soil, Freedom.

 

Come join the Abolitionists,

Ye young men bold an strong,

And with a warm and cheerful zeal,

Come help the cause along.

Come help the cause along,

Come help the cause along,

And with a warm and cheerful zeal,

Come help the cause along.

O that will be joyful, joyful, joyful,

O that will be joyful,

When slavery is no more,

When slavery is no more;

When slavery is no more,

ŌTis then weÕll sing and offerings bring,

When slavery is no more.

 

Come join the Abolitionists,

Ye men of riper years,

And save your wives and children dear,

From grief and bitter tears,

From grief and bitter tears,

From grief and bitter tears,

And save your wives and children dear,

From grief and bitter tears.

O that will be joyful, etc.

 

Come join the Abolitionists,

Ye men of hoary heads,

And end your days where Liberty,

Its peaceful influence sheds,

Its peaceful influence sheds,

Its peaceful influence sheds,

And end your days where Liberty,

Its peaceful influence sheds.

O that will be joyful, etc.

 

Come join the Abolitionists,

Ye dames and maidens fair,

And breathe around us in our path,

AffectionÕs hallowed air.

AffectionÕs hallowed air,

AffectionÕs hallowed air,

And breathe around us in our path,

AffectionÕs hallowed air.

O that will be joyful, joyful, joyful,

O that will be joyful,

When woman cheers us on,

When woman cheers us on,

To conquests not yet won,

ŌTis then weÕll sing and offerings bring,

When woman cheers us on.

 

Come join the Abolitionists,

Ye who the weak enslave,

Who sell the father, mother, child,

Whom Christ has died to save,

Whom Christ has died to save,

Whom Christ has died to save,

Who sell the father, mother, child,

O that will be joyful, joyful, joyful,

O that will be joyful,

When chains are forged no more,

When Slavery is no more,

Our happy land all oÕer,

ŌTis then weÕll sing and offerings bring,

When Slavery is no more.

 

Come join the Abolitionists,

Ye sons and daughters all,

Of this our own America,

Come at the friendly call.

Come at the friendly call,

Come at the friendly call,

Of this our own America,

Come at the friendly call.

O that will be joyful, joyful, joyful,

O that will be joyful,

When all shall proudly say,

This, this is FreedomÕs day,

Oppression flee away!

ŌTis then weÕll sing and offerings bring,

When Freedom wins the day!

 

Sources:

 

Anti-Slavery Harp.  Boston, 1848.

Free Soil Minstrel. New York, 1848

Harp of Freedom, New York, 1856

Liberty Minstrel, New York, 1844-48

Anti-Slavery Picknick, Boston, 1842

Anti-Slavery Melodies. Hingham, 1843

Hymns and Songs for the Friends of Freedom, Middletown, 1842

A Collection of Miscenllaneous Songs from the Liberty Minstrel, and Mason's Juvenile Harp.

Cincinnati, 1845

Songs of the Free, and Hymns of Christian Freedom.  Boston, 1836