The Watchman's Call (William Walker)

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  • (Posted 2018-06-24)  CPDL #50303:         
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2018-06-24).   Score information: 7 x 10 inches (landscape), 1 page, 47 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Notes in four-shape format, as first published in 1835. Whole piece transposed down from A Major to G Major, as suggested by Jackson (1952). All five stanzas included.

General Information

Title: The Watchman's Call
First Line: The watchmen blow the trumpet round
Composer: William Walker
Lyricist: Anonymous

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: Sacred   Meter: 88. 88. D (L.M.D.)

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1835 in Southern Harmony, p. 65, for three voices: Treble-Tenor-Bass; Alto part written by William Walker, 1867
Description: A folk hymn (Jackson 1952, No. 175). Words by an anonymous author, first appearing in Southern Harmony, with five stanzas.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

1. The watchmen blow the trumpet round,
Come, listen to the solemn sound,
And be assured there's danger nigh;
How many are prepared to die?
Your days on earth will soon be o'er,
And time to you return no more;
O think thou hast a soul to save,
What are thy hopes beyond the grave?

2. Come old and young, come rich and poor;
You’ll all be called to stand before
The God that made the earth and sea.
And there proclaim his majesty.
Will you remain quite unconcerned,
While for your souls the watchmen mourn:
They weep to think how you will stand
With frightful ghosts at God’s left hand.


3. O mortals! view the dream of life,
And see how thousands end the strife,
Who, though convinced, do still delay,
Till death ensues and drags away ;
Will you for fancied earthly toys
Deprive yourselves of heavenly joys
And will the calls you have to-day
Be slighted still and pass away?

4. The trying scene will shortly come.
When you must hear your certain doom.
And if you then go unprepared.
You'll bear in mind the truths you’ve heard;
Your sparkling eyes will then roll round.
While death will bring you to the ground:
The coffin, grave, and winding sheet.
Will hold your lifeless frame complete.


5. Your friends will then pass by your tomb,
And view the grass around it grown,
And heave a sigh to think you're gone
To the land where there's no return.
O mortals! now improve your time,
And while the gospel sun doth shine
Fly swift to Christ, he is your friend,
And then in heaven your souls will end.