Columbia (Alexander Johnson)

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  • (Posted 2017-03-15)   CPDL #43562:       
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2017-03-15).   Score information: 7 x 10 inches (landscape), 1 page, 74 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Note heads in four-shape format, as originally published. Transcribed from Southern Harmony, 1845. Words by Timothy Dwight. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.
  • (Posted 2017-03-15)   CPDL #43560:       
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2017-03-15).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 75 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Note heads converted to oval shapes. As arranged by James P. Carrell, 1821, entitled Melody, in C Major. Words by an anonymous author, before 1818, O how I have longed for the coming of God. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.
  • (Posted 2017-03-15)   CPDL #43559:   
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2017-03-15).   Score information: 7 x 10 inches (landscape), 1 page, 76 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Note heads in four-shape format. As arranged by James P. Carrell, 1821, entitled Melody, in C Major. Words by an anonymous author, before 1818, O how I have longed for the coming of God.

General Information

Title: Columbia
First Line: As down a lone valley with cedars o'erspread
Composer: Alexander Johnson
Lyricist: Timothy Dwight

Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: STB
Genre: Secular
Genre: Sacred   Meter: 11 11. 11 11

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1818 in Johnson's Tennessee Harmony for three voices (Treble-Tenor-Bass)
  2nd published: 1821 in Songs of Zion, as Melody
  3rd published: 1835 in Southern Harmony, as Columbia

Description: First published in 1818 in D minor; reprinted in William Walker's Southern Harmony, 1835. Arranged by James P. Carrell in 1821, in C Major, re-titled Melody. Possibly this is a folk hymn, source for both Johnson and Carrell – see Southern Harmony (1845), 154 Columbia.

Original words by Timothy Dwight, poem entitled "Columbia", in six stanzas. Johnson used the sixth stanza of Dwight's poem in his composition.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Original text and translations may be found at O how I have longed for the coming of God.

English.png English text

Timothy Dwight, Columbia, 1789

1. Columbia, Columbia, to glory arise,
The queen of the world, and the child of the skies!
Thy genius commands thee; with rapture behold
While ages on ages thy splendors unfold.
Thy reign is the last, and the noblest of time,
Most fruitful thy soil, most inviting thy clime;
Let the crimes of the east ne'er encrimson thy name,
Be freedom, and science, and virtue thy fame.

2. To conquest and slaughter let Europe aspire;
Whelm nations in blood, and wrap cities in fire;
Thy heroes the rights of mankind shall defend,
And triumph pursue them, and glory attend.
A world is thy realm: for a world be thy laws,
Enlarged as thine empire, and just as thy cause;
On freedom's broad basis, that empire shall rise,
Extend with the main, and dissolve with the skies.

3. Fair science her gates to thy sons shall unbar,
And the east see thy morn hide the beams of her star.
New bards, and new sages, unrivaled shall soar
To fame unextinguished, when time is no more;
To thee, the last refuge of virtue designed,
Shall fly from all nations the best of mankind;
Here, grateful to heaven, with transport shall bring
Their incense, more fragrant than odors of spring.

 



4. Nor less shall thy fair ones to glory ascend,
And genius and beauty in harmony blend;
The graces of form shall awake pure desire,
And the charms of the soul ever cherish the fire;
Their sweetness unmingled, their manners refined,
And virtue's bright image, instamped on the mind,
With peace, and soft rapture, shall teach life to glow,
And light up a smile in the aspect of woe.

5. Thy fleets to all regions thy power shall display,
The nations admire, and the ocean obey;
Each shore to thy glory its tribute unfold,
And the east and the south yield their spices and gold.
As the day-spring unbounded, thy splendor shall flow,
And earth's little kingdoms before thee shall bow:
While the ensigns of union, in triumph unfurled,
Hush the tumult of war, and give peace to the world.

6. Thus, as down a lone valley, with cedars o'er-spread,
From war's dread confusion I pensively strayed,
The gloom from the face of fair heaven retired;
The winds ceased to murmur; the thunders expired;
Perfumes, as of Eden, flow'd sweetly along,
And a voice, as of angels, enchantingly sung:
"Columbia, Columbia, to glory arise,
The queen of the world and the child of the skies."