frenchpony (frenchpony) wrote,
frenchpony
frenchpony

  • Music:

Let Tyrants Shake Their Iron Rod

We held our Independence Day singing at my apartment, the last singing I will host until September. I made a different kind of peppermint cookie, one that uses fresh chopped-up mint and kind of looks like a pot cookie but isn't, and I also made a Fourth of July Velvet Cake, which is just a layer of red velvet cake on top of a layer of blue velvet cake all covered with white frosting.

We sang all the Independence Day or America-themed songs we could think of, though we didn't quite get to "The American Star," which is fine because we don't actually know it all that well. We were asked to sing "Ode on Science," which goes fiendishly high for the tenors, but all is redeemed when you get to the text "The British yoke, the Gallic chain / was urged upon our necks in vain / All haughty tyrants we disdain / And sing "Long live America!" Which properly ought to be pronounced in the old style, Ameri-kay, to rhyme with "laurels of immortal day" in the preceding stanza.

We also indulged ourselves and sang "Chester" with the original text. This song was Number Two on the Revolutionary War Hit Parade ("Yankee Doodle" was Number One), and it missed becoming our national anthem only because it specified New England's God in the first stanza:

1. Let tyrants shake their iron rod
And slav'ry clank her galling chains
We fear them not; we trust in God
New England's God forever reigns.

2. Howe and Burgoyne and Clinton, too,
With Prescott and Cornwallis joined,
Together plot our overthrow,
In one infernal league combined.

3. When God inspired us for the fight
Their ranks were broke; their lines were forced
Their ships were shattered in our sight
Or swiftly driven from our shore.

4. The foe comes on with haughty stride
Our troops advance with martial noise
Their veterans flee before our youth
And generals yield to beardless boys.

5. What grateful off'ring shall we bring,
What shall we render to the Lord?
Loud hallelujahs let us sing,
And praise his name on ev'ry chord!

The text is printed in the Norumbega Harmony, which I have, so I lined out all the verses. We don't usually sing five verses even at the Thursday night events, but this was a special occasion.

Then I went and saw fireworks at a friend's house. Life is good.
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