Even more copyright free hymns

I found four more copyright-free hymns that I’d been meaning to upload: “Yielding and Simple,” a Shaker song; “Trouble in Mind,” the blues and jazz standard; “Hold On,” also known at “Keep Your Hands on the Plow”; and “Rise Up O Flame,” which I once thought might be protected by copyright but am now convinced in public domain.

You can find them on this webpage. Descriptions below the jump.

That webpage is static HTML, by the way, which I code by hand in the text editor Atom. Thank goodness this is the last of the hymns I have which are ready to post. Writing static HTML takes up too much time, time that I’d rather spend creating content (e.g., writing actual posts for this blog). This bout of hand-coding proved to be especially time-consuming because Filezilla, free open-source software which I use to upload the HTML to the server, suddenly stopped talking to the server. I spent half a day troubleshooting, until I finally gave up and purchased Transmit, another FTP application. However, static HTML is more resistant to attacks by malicious hackers, and requires less energy consumption to render — so I suppose writing static HTML is worth it in the long run.

Hold On

Traditional African American tune and text, in an SAB arrangement released into the public domain. The arrangement is for SAB; the small notes are for piano left hand. N.B.: A version sung during the Civil Rights Era, with the chorus “keep your eyes on the prize,” is copyright 1963 by Alice Wine. Wine’s copyright-protected verses apparently include those beginning: “The only thing twe did right,” “The only thing we did wrong,” “The only chain,” “Freedom’s name is mighty sweet,” and others. Additional verses which are clearly in the public domain include: “I got a mother [father, etc.] in the promised [freedom] land, Never gonna rest till I shake her [their] hand”; “Ain’t been to heaven but I’ve been told, The streets are pearl and the gates are gold”; “Didn’t come here for to stay always, In that promised [freedom] land I got a place”; and others. Roud #10075.

Rise Up O Flame

The origins of this song are obscure. The somewhat repetitive tune was supposedly composed by Christoph Praetorius (died 1590), though I have not been able to confirm that. The English words clearly do not date from the fourteenth century. The earliest publication I’ve found for the words is in a 1934 songbook of the Kent County (U.K.) Girl Guides, so they may be copyright-protected. However, in their songbook Rise Up Singing, Annie Patterson and Peter Blood call this a public domain song; Patterson and Blood carefully research copyright, and I’m inclined to trust them; plus, no one has sued them for copyright infringement.

Trouble in Mind

Composed by Richard Jones in 1924. When Bertha “Chippie” Hill’s recording of this song (with Jones playing piano) was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, The Blues Foundation called it “one of the enduring anthems of the blues as hope for the future even in the darkest of times.” Although accompaniment to this jazz standard is usually improvised, a simple SATB arrangement is provided and is released into the public domain.

Yielding and Simple

Words and music “received” by Malissa Soule of the the Mount Lebanon Shaker community, circa 1869; in a public domain arrangement.

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