Scripture Verse

They cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. Exodus 2:23


John R. Johnson (1873–1954)

Words: James W. John­son, 1900. John­son had been asked to speak at a ce­le­bra­tion of the birth­day of Am­eri­can pre­si­dent Abra­ham Lin­coln at the Stan­ton School in Jack­son­ville, Flo­ri­da (John­son’s birth­place).

Instead of craft­ing a speech, though, John­son wrote these words as a po­em. He gave them to his bro­ther John, who set them to mu­sic. The po­em was pub­lished in The Dai­ly Am­eri­can, and 500 co­pies were print­ed for stu­dents to sing dur­ing the ce­le­bra­tion.

Music: John R. John­son (🔊 pdf nwc).

James W. Johnson (1871–1938)


On to Liberty
Theodor Kaufmann (1814–1896)

Lift ev­ery voice and sing,
Till earth and Hea­ven ring,
Ring with the har­mo­nies of li­ber­ty;
Let our re­joic­ing rise,
High as the list­en­ing skies,
Let it re­sound loud as the roll­ing sea.
Sing a song full of the faith
That the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope
That the pre­sent has brought us;
Facing the ris­ing sun
Of our new day be­gun,
Let us march on till vic­to­ry is won.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chast­en­ing rod,
Felt in the days when hope un­born had died;
Yet with a stea­dy beat,
Have not our wea­ry feet,
Come to the place for which our fa­thers sighed?
We have come ov­er a way
That with tears has been wa­tered,
We have come, tread­ing our path
Through the blood of the slaugh­tered;
Out from the gloo­my past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our wea­ry years,
God of our si­lent tears,
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who hast by Thy might,
Led us in­to the light,
Keep us for­ev­er in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the plac­es,
Our God, where we met Thee.
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine
Of the world, we for­get Thee.
Shadowed be­neath Thy hand,
May we for­ev­er stand,
True to our God, true to our na­tive land.