William Billings

William Billings was born on October 7, 1746 in Boston, Massachusetts. He became the first professional composer in America. He is widely regarded as the father of American choral music. A chorale is an ecclesiastical religious song. They generally have rhyming words and are in a strophic form. His music was very popular during his life. William Billings died in Boston on September 26, 1800, aged almost 54. He was married and had 6 children.



Music piece: O Praise the Lord of Heaven


O Praise the Lord of Heaven;
Praise Him in the Height,
Praise Him in the Depth;
O praise the Lord of Heaven,
Praise Him all ye Angels,
Praise Jehovah.
Praise Him Sun and Moon and blazing Comets,
Praise the Lord.
Let them praise the Name of the Lord,
For He spake the Word and all were made;
He commanded and they were created;
Admire, adore.
Ye Dragons whose contageous Breath,
People the dark Abodes of Death,
Change your dire Hissings into heav’nly Songs,
And praise your Maker with your forked Tongues.
O praise the Lord of Heaven;
Fire, Hail and Snow, Wind and Storms,
Beasts and Cattle, creeping Insects,
Flying Fowl,
Kings and Princes, Men and Angels,
Praise the Lord;
Jew and Gentile, Male and Female,
Bond and Free,
Earth and Heaven, Land and Water,
Praise the Lord;
Young Men and Maids,
Old Men and Babes,
Praise the Lord.
Join Creation,
And Redemption join in one;
No Exemption,
Nor Dissention,
One Invention,
And Intention reigns through the Whole,
To Praise the Lord.
Hallelujah, praise the Lord.

Is any afflicted
Is any afflicted,
Let him Pray.
Is any of you merry,
Let him sing Psalms,
Singing and making Melody
In your hearts to the Lord.
Let the word of Christ
Dwell in you richly,
Teaching and admonishing
One another in Psalms and Hymns
And Spir’tual Songs,
Singing and making Melody
In your hearts to the Lord.



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