Have you ever heard someone singing a song and then found yourself singing it all the rest of that day? Songs are funny things, even when they’re not sung to music. Sing words of victory and you’ll soon start feeling triumphant.. Sing of warmth and love and feel it welling up inside you. Sing of loneliness and despair and your skies will soon be gray.
What kinds of songs have you been singing?
Edward Rowland Sill was only 45 years old when he died in Cleveland, Ohio, exactly 115 years ago. In poor health at the age of 20, Ed worked first on a ranch, then in a post office, then briefly studied theology, but gave that up to become a journalist in New York. Finally, he began teaching school, first in Ohio and then in California where he eventually became a teacher of English at the State University. He kept the job for 8 years, but was forced to resign in 1882 on account of the failing health that had dogged him most of his life.
Yet in spite of all his physical troubles, Ed was the kind of singer I’d like to have known. This is the song he left us:
THIS I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream: There spread a cloud of dust along a plain; And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince’s banner Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes. A craven hung along the battle’s edge And thought, “Had I a sword of keener steel- That blue blade that the king’s son bears, -but this Blunt thing–!” He snapt and flung it from his hand, And lowering crept away and left the field. Then came the king’s son, wounded, sore bestead, And weaponless, and saw the broken sword, Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand, And ran and snatched it, and with battle-shout Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down, And saved a great cause that heroic day.
If you haven’t yet picked a song to sing today, why not try Eddie’s song?
With his life he wrote the words.
Might you write the music with yours?
Roy H. Williams