1795—Era & Topic: French Revolution
This sheet music contains the first realization of the melody published in the United States.
1. Unfold father Time thy long records unfold, Of noble Achievements accomplish’d of Old; When men by the spirit of liberty led, Undauntedly Conquer’d, or cheerfully bled. But now midst the triumphs these moments reveal Their glories all fade and their lustre turns pale; Whilst France rises up and proclaims the decree, That tears off their chains and bids Millions be Free. 2. As Spring to the fields and as dew to the flow’rs, To the earth parch’d with heat as the soft dropping show’rs; As health to the wretch that lies languid and wan, So cheering, so grateful, is Freedom to man. Where Freedom the light of her countenance gives, There only he triumphs, there only he lives; Then seize the glad moment and hail the decree, That tears off their chains and bids Millions be Free. 3. Too long had oppression and terror entwin’d, Those tyrant form’d chains that enslave the Free mind; Whilst dark superstition with Nature at strife, For Ages had lock’d up the fountain of life. But the Demon is fled the delusion is past, And Reason and Virtue have triumph’d at last; Then seize the glad moment and hail the decree, That tears off their chains and bids Millions be Free. 4. France we share in the raptures thy bosom that fills Whilst the Genius of Liberty bounds o’er thine hills; Redundant henceforth may thy purple Juice flow, Prouder wave thy Green Woods and thin Olive trees grow. Whilst the hand of Philosophy long shall entwine Blest Emblems the Laurel, the Myrtle, the Vine; And heav’n thro’ all ages confirm the decree, That tears off their chains and bids Millions be Free.
William Pirsson, arranger
Era and Topic
To Anacreon in Heaven
New York City