Holy Savior call
Music: Sheena Phillips, Words: Anon
Performance time approx: 0m 45s (sung once through)
arranged by Sheena Phillips
for unaccompanied chorus (SATB)
Price code: B
This stirring song is written in the language of conviction, with plenty of good old Anglo-Saxon words. It’s from the Shaker community in Alfred, Maine and dates from about 1847.
Traditionally nearly all the Shaker songs were sung in unison but they come alive in a different way when harmonised – especially starkly, as here. As with Gaelic mouth music, a sequence of Shaker tunes can work well in concert. Other Shaker arrangements published by Canasg include Lay me low, Mother Ann’s song, Simple gifts, Star of purity and Turning shuffle tune.
Lo, lo, saith the Savior, my angels are sounding
Their trumpets to waken the sleepers around.
There's no time for doubting, there's no time for halting,
But stand to your post upon God's holy ground.
Oh herken ye watchmen and strong men of Zion,
Come up to the help of the Lord is the call,
Oh shrink not in danger but gird on your armour
And cleave to the standards that you may not fall.
Our transcription of the words and tune to the song is taken from Edward Deming Andrews' book The Gift to be Simple: songs, dances and rituals of the American Shakers published by Dover Publications, New York (and on the web at www.doverpublications.com).