Chester (William Billings)

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  • (Posted 2020-06-03)  CPDL #59000:   
Editor: Gary D. Cannon (submitted 2020-06-03).   Score information: Letter, 6 pages, 416 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Score includes editorial assignments of verses to different voice parts, appropriate for concert performance.
  • (Posted 2016-09-26)  CPDL #41239:     
Editor: Aaron Giles (submitted 2016-09-26).   Score information: Letter, 3 pages, 39 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2006-07-19)  CPDL #12050:  Network.png
Editor: William Long (submitted 2006-07-19).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 18 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Find score under 'Sacred Harp' section. New text added.
  • (Posted 1999-01-27)  CPDL #00032:        (Finale 1998)
Editor: Rafael Ornes (submitted 1999-01-27).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 24 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Chester
First Line: Let tyrants shake their iron rod
Composer: William Billings
Lyricist: William Billings

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: Sacred

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1770 in The New-England Psalm-Singer
    2nd published: 1778 in The Singing Master's Assistant
    3rd published: 1779 in Music in Miniature, no. 26

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Let tyrants shake their iron rod,
And slavery 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 veterans flee before our youth,
And generals yield to beardless boys.

What grateful offering shall we bring?
What shall we render to the Lord?
Loud Hallelujahs let us sing,
And praise his name on every chord.