Fortnight For Freedom Day 3: Chester

 

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Their blood flowed as freely (in proportion to their numbers) to cement the fabric of independence as that of any of their fellow-citizens: They concurred with perhaps greater unanimity than any other body of men, in recommending and promoting that government, from whose influence America anticipates all the blessings of justice, peace, plenty, good order and civil and religious liberty.

John Carroll, first American bishop, on American Catholics in the Revolution

Something for the weekend.  Chester,  America’s unofficial national anthem during the American Revolution.   This fits in well with the Fortnight of Freedom proclaimed by our Bishops in resistance to encroachments by government on our religious liberty.

Written by William Billings in 1770, he added new lyrics to the song in 1778 and transformed it into a battle hymn for the Patriots in their war for independence.  The song reveals the strong religious element that was ever-present on the American side of the conflict, with most Patriots viewing the war as a crusade.

Let tyrants shake their iron rods,

And Slav’ry clank her galling chains.

We fear them not, we trust in God.

 New England’s God forever reigns.

Howe and Burgoyne and Clinton, too,

With Prescott and Cornwallis joined,

Together plot our overthrow,

In one infernal league combined.

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 coast.

The foe comes on with haughty stride,

 Our troops advance with martial noise;

Their vet’rans flee before our youth,

And gen’rals yield to beardless boys.

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!

Here is a spirited rendition:

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And to finish, an orchestral version:

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5 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom Day 3: Chester

  • Amen!

    Our Finding principles (Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Gettysburg Address, etc.) are not perfect. It’s just that they are the most perfect governing principles yet devised by fallen man.

    I received an email from a close friend giving the inspirational story of a school trip at the Iwo Jima Memorial. John Bradley’s son happened to be there and he explained what it means.

    The following says it all.

    Six young Marines raised our flag amid terrible combat, with (as always) an extra hand.

    “One thing I learned . . . look at the statue and count the number of ‘hands’ raising the flag, there are 13. When the man who made the statue was asked why there were 13, he simply said the 13th hand was the hand of God.”

    One Nation Under God.

  • That’s beautiful. But I can honestly say that I’ve never heard it or heard of it before, except for a dim reminiscence of some references to the phrase “New England’s God.”

    Thank you.

  • One of my goals in blogging, other than my main goal which is to have fun, is to remind Catholics and Americans of their history and their heritage. In the past 45 years much of it has been sent down a memory hole, and I play a small role in retrieving it.

  • I have never heard of this before. It is wonderful “and praise His name on every cord”

  • I had a trouble understanding Abigail.
    It sounded like “what men are not wont to do, they ought not to do, they know not what.” ??? or was it
    “when men know not what to do, they ought not to do, they know not what”

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