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MiriamKilmer Lyr Req: David's Lamentation: Source of 2nd v (5) David's Lamentation: Source of 2nd verse 10 Feb 01


"RW" said he probably won't answer email questions:

DAVID'S LAMENTATION (William Billings) [He's the composer - but did he also write the words to the second verse?]

David the king was grieved and moved;
He went to his chamber, his chamber and wept,
And as he went, he wept and said, "Oh my son! Oh my son!
Would to God I had died! Would to God I had died for thee!
Oh Absalom, my son, my son!"

Vict'ry that day was turned into mourning
When the people did see how the King grieved for his son.
He covered his face, and in a loud voice cried, "Oh my son! Oh my son!
Would to God I had died! Would to God I had died for thee!
Oh Absalom, my son, my son!"

RW (on the Digitrad site) wrote: William Billings, c. 1800. An almost verbatim use of 2 Samuel 18:33, 19:2. Absalom, the oldest living son of David, had rebelled against his father. When the final battle between the two sides came, David gave orders for Absalom to be spared, but Joab, David's general, had the prince killed. This was David's response when he heard the news. Found in many shape note hymnals, but usually with only the first verse. Sally Rogers recorded it (with "When Jesus Wept") on "The Unclaimed Pint;" the full text is found on The Watersons' "Sound, Sound Your Instruments of Joy."

USUALLY only the first verse? Where can I find one with the second verse? (The 1958 Christian Harmony has a different second verse that doesn't scan and doesn't fit into the story properly.)

Tim had the words stuck into his Sacred Harp Book. Somebody gave them to him years ago. We're trying to find out who wrote the lyrics.
Yes, I know it's a paraphrase of Scripture; I want to know who wrote the paraphrase, where it first appeared, etc.

Sopmone sent me this reference:
> The original William Billing song (of slightly uncertain date, though obviously in existence by the early nineteenth century) is taken almost verbatim from 2 Samuel 18:33. A second verse, rarely sung and not found in the Sacred Harp, is almost as close to 2 Samuel 19:2: Vict'ry that day was turned into mourning When the people did see how the King grieved for his son. He covered his face and in a loud voice cried, "Oh my son...." - Robert B. Waltz

I wonder whether he is the RW of the DigiTrad site.
Why don't I just ask RW? He warns that his site is not supported and that he probably won't answer.

However, one person told me that "It's definitely not Billings- or at least does not appear in DL as he published it." (What is "DL?" I might even have it someplace in this mess...) Does anyone out there have "The Complete Works of William Billings?" or a "Catalog of the Musical Works of William Billings" http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/031327827X/risingdovefinear/
(which has a Text Sources Index)?

Since Waltz's note above is not absolutely clear in ascribing the "second verse" to Billings, I'm still in doubt.

Many people told me the words are from the Bible, which of course I already knew. That is true of a great many songs in "The Sacred Harp," but the lyricists are often credited, as they should be.


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