Few More Marchings Weary, A
DESCRIPTION: Chorus: "O'er time's rapid river, Soon we'll rest forever, No more marchings weary, when we gather home." Verses: In a short while "with Christ we'll wear a crown ... And then away to Canaan's land"
AUTHOR: Words: Frances Jane (Fanny) (Crosby) Van Alstyne / Music: William Howard Doane (source: Townsend)
EARLIEST DATE: 1882 (according to Townsend)
KEYWORDS: ritual nonballad religious Jesus
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
ADDITIONAL: Ira D. Sankey, Sacred Songs and Solos Twelve Hundred Hymns (London: Collins, n.d.), #512, ("A few more marchings weary") (1 text)
Mrs A. M. Townsend, The Baptist Standard Hymnal with Responsive Readings (Nashville: Sunday School Publishing Board National Baptist Convention, 1924), #578 p. 497, "A Few More Marchings Weary" (1 text, 1 tune)
Rosa and Joseph Murray, "A Few More Days" (on USSeaIsland03)
NOTES [388 words]: Alternate lines in the verses are "Then we'll gather home."
The description follows Townsend. The Murrays have this song as a hymn sung at a funeral service in the graveyard; they sing only one verse, not in Townsend's text: It's a few more days setting of the sun And then we'll soon gather home, A few more days rising of the sun And then we'll soon gather home. - BS
According to John Julian, editor, A Dictionary of Hymnology, 1892; second edition 1907 (I use the 1957 Dover edition in two volumes), pp. 1203-1204, and William Reynolds, Companion to Baptist Hymnal, Broadman Press, 1976, p. 291, Fanny Crosby, born 1823 in New York, lost her sight when she was less than two months old when a doctor overheated her inflamed eyes; she attended a school for the blind, and then taught there. In 1858, she married a blind musician, Alexander van Alstyne. She had her first poem published in 1831, and her first book of poetry in 1844. In all she is estimated to have written two thousand poems. A number of her verses were set to music by George F. Root (who also taught at her school at this time), although (as of this writing) the only one of these to be in the Index is "Rosalie the Prairie Flower," and that only because it was the basis for a widespread parody.
In 1864, she published her first hymn, "We are going, we are going." Her big hit is probably "Near the Cross" ("Jesus, keep me near the cross"); also "Blessed Assurance." Her most popular secular piece (at least based on the list of her works cited in Granger's Index to Poetry) is probably "There's Music in the Air." Another once-popular piece is "Safe in the Arms of Jesus," which she wrote at the request of William Howard Doane, who set both that song and this.
She became something of a hack writer, at one time banging out three texts per week, and using, according to Reynolds, more than two hundred pseudonyms.
Julian comments of her output that, despite their wide circulation, "they are, with few exceptions, very weak and poor, their simplicity and earnestness being their redeeming features. Their popularity is largely due to the melodies to which they are wedded." Certainly I don't find much in her work that is inspiring. But the Baptist Hymnal includes a dozen of her texts. I don't know if that says more about her or about Baptists. - RBW
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