Dunlap's Creek (S. McFarland)

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  • (Posted 2022-03-16)  CPDL #68474:       
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2022-03-16).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 36 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Oval note version. Transcribed from The Beauties of Harmony, 1814. Two more stanzas included from Watts' Hymn 62.
  • (Posted 2022-03-16)  CPDL #68448:         
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2022-03-16).   Score information: 7 x 10 inches (landscape), 1 page, 39 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transcribed from The Beauties of Harmony, 1814. Note heads in four-shape format, as published in 1814. Two more stanzas included from Watts' Hymn 62.
  • (Posted 2022-03-14)  CPDL #68415:       
Editor: Andrew Sims (submitted 2022-03-14).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 35 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: The hymn in the version published in The Hymnal 1982, melody with underlaid words For thy blest saints, a noble throng by Cecil Frances Alexander.
  • (Posted 2022-03-14)  CPDL #68414:       
Editor: Andrew Sims (submitted 2022-03-14).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 106 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: The hymn in the version published in The Hymnal 1982, melody with words For thy blest saints, a noble throng by Cecil Frances Alexander.
  • (Posted 2021-06-10)  CPDL #64722:     
Editor: Richard Mix (submitted 2021-06-10).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 28 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: For STB. Four verses of "We walk by faith, and not by sight", by Henry Alford. From Southern Harmony, 1854.

General Information

Title: Dunlap's Creek
First Line: Think, O my soul, the dreadful day
Composer: S. McFarland
Lyricist: Isaac Watts
Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: TrCoTB
Genre: SacredFolk hymnHymn tune   Meter: 86. 86 (C.M.)

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1814 without attribution in The Beauties of Harmony, Edition 1
    2nd published: 1816 attributed to "S. M'Farland" in The Beauties of Harmony, Edition 2
    3rd published: 1820 in Supplement to the Kentucky Harmony (Ananias Davisson), Edition 1
    4th published: 1831 in The Virginia Harmony (Clayton and Carrell), p. 16
    5th published: 1832 in A Compilation of Genuine Church Music, p. 63
    6th published: 1848 in The Hesperian Harp
    7th published: 1846 in Southern and Western Pocket Harmonist, p. 63
    8th published: 1854 in Southern Harmony, p. 276a
Description: An American folk hymn from the early 19th century. Originally published in Lewis (1814-1816) for four voices, Treble-Counter-Tenor-Bass; Davisson (1830) copied McFarland's four-part arrangement. Clayton and Carrell (1831) reduced this to three parts, Treble-Tenor-Bass; they kept McFarland's Tenor and Bass but wrote a new Treble part. Funk (1832) also reduced it to three parts, but used McFarland's Treble, Tenor, and Bass. Hauser (1848) copied McFarland's original music, for four parts. Walker (1846 and following) used the same three-part reduction as Funk. Most of the 19th-century versions were published in shapenote format (4-shape).

Words originally published in 1814 are Think, O my soul, the dreadful day by Isaac Watts, 1709, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Hymn 62 of Book 2, the fourth of six stanzas; these words were also used in Virginia Harmony (1831). Davisson (1820) used different Isaac Watts words from Book 2, Hymn 65, When I can read my title clear. Funk (1832) used the same Watts hymn as McFarland, but the first stanza, Sing to the Lord, ye heavenly hosts. Hauser (1848) used the same words as Funk. Walker (1846 and following) used another Watts hymn from Book 2, Hymn 94, My God, my portion and my love.

Other words used for this tune include For thy blest saints, a noble throng (Cecil Frances Alexander) and We walk by faith, and not by sight (Henry Alford).

Dunlap's Creek is a tributary of the Monongahela River; the confluence is now in the city of Brownsville, western Pennsylvania. This confluence is located at a major crossing of the Monongahela River, now a bridge but until the mid-nineteenth century was a ford. "This was a frequent point of embarkation to cross the Monongahela River for travelers who had crossed the Alleghenies or were heading west via the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers by boat. Its strategic importance had long been recognized and used by the Indians, and it was a target terminus of Braddock's Road during the French and Indian War. Redstone Old Fort was a terminus of an Indian trail which settlers improved around 1750. They afterward called it Nemacolin's Trail, named after the Indian chief who assisted the improvement through the mountain pass. From this area, travelers could travel by water downstream on the Monongahela river to what is now Pittsburgh, or overland, by trails that later became Brownsville Road to the same destination" (Wikipedia, Redstone_Old_FortLink to the English Wikipedia article). Thus in the early nineteenth century, Dunlap's Creek had come to symbolize migration from New England westward.

The preface to Freeman Lewis' The Beauties of Harmony is dated "Redstone, April, 1814", at or near Dunlap's Creek. The Beauties of Harmony was published in Pittsburgh, but printed in Cincinnati, farther down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Original text and translations may be found at Sing to the Lord, ye heavenly hosts, When I can read my title clear, My God, my portion, and my love, We walk by faith, and not by sight, and For thy blest saints, a noble throng.