Hear, hear, O heavens (William Billings)

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  • (Posted 2021-05-04)  CPDL #64308:  Network.png
Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2021-05-04).   Score information: A4, 13 pages, 453 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score. Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download. The source is printed in F minor, with the injunction "Set this piece in E"; this edition accordingly is transposed down by a semi-tone.
  • (Posted 2015-01-07)  CPDL #34172:         
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2015-01-07).   Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 105 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Oval note edition, as written in 1794. Revised 2021-05-11.
  • (Posted 2015-01-07)  CPDL #34174:       
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2015-01-07).   Score information: Unknown, 6 pages, 96 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Note shapes added (4-shape). Revised 2021-05-11.

General Information

Title: Hear, hear, O heavens
Composer: William Billings

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

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1794 in The Continental Harmony, no. 3, p. 42
Description: Published in The Continental Harmony, 1794, pp. 42-47. Words adapted by Billings from Isaiah Chapter 1.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Hear, hear, O heavens,
And give ear, O earth,
For the Lord hath spoken.
I have nourished and brought up children,
And they have rebelled against Me,
Ah! Sinful nation!
The ox knows his owner,
The ass his master's crib,
But Israel does not know,
My people doth not consider;
Ah! Sinful nation!


A people laden with iniquity,
A seed of evildoers.
Children that are corrupters,
They have forsaken the Lord.
They have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger.
Ah! Sinful nation!
Wash ye, make ye clean,
Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.
Cease to do evil,
Learn to do well,
Seek judgment,


Relieve the oppressed,
Judge the fatherless.
Plead for the widow,
Do justice,
Love mercy,
Walk humbly before God.
Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord.
Though your sins be as scarlet,
They shall be as wool.
Though they be red like crimson,
Yet they shall be as white as snow.