Skip to content

Sunday Nocturnal: William Billings – Lamentation Over Boston

20 April 2014 @ 21:45

William Billings composed this magnificent piece of music to commemorate the British occupation of Boston in the aftermath of the battles at Concord and at Lexington…

This version was performed by The Essex Harmony at the Old South Meeting House on 11 April 2010.

By the Rivers of Watertown we sat down and wept,
We wept when we remembered thee, O Boston,
When we remembered thee, O Boston.
As for our prayers, Lord God of Heaven,
Preserve them, defend them, deliver, and restore them unto us,
Preserve them, defend them, deliver, and restore them unto us again.
For they that held them in bondage
Required of them to take up arms against their Brethren
Forbid it, Lord – God forbid
That those who have sucked Bostonian Breasts
Should thirst for American Blood.
A voice was heard in Roxbury which echoed thro’ the Continent,
Weeping for Boston…
Weeping for Boston because of their Danger.
Is Boston my dear Town, is it my native Place?
For since their Calamity I do earnestly remember it still!
I do earnestly remember it still!

If I forget thee, yea, if I do not remember thee,
Then let my numbers cease to flow,
Then be my Muse unkind,
Then let my Tongue forget to move and ever be confined;
Let horrid Jargon split the Air and rive my nerves asunder.
Let hateful discord greet my ear as terrible as Thunder.
Let harmony be banished hence and Consonance depart;
Let dissonance erect her throne and reign within my Heart.

[It should be noted that I am publishing this post to honor the memory of those died for Freedom and Liberty at Concord and Lexington on 19 April 1775.  This post has nothing to do with the whole maudlin and seemingly endless ‘Boston Strong’ wailings and lamentations.  —Bob Belvedere]

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: