EXTREMELY RARE SABINE BARING-GOULD HANDWRITTEN LYRICS TO HIS ICONIC HYMN, "ONWARD, CHRISTIAN, SOLDIERS", SIGNED AT CONCLUSION
Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924) Handwritten lyrics for "Onward, Christian, Soldiers" Signed, "S. Baring-Gould", 6.5 x 11.5, five, eight-line stanzas, signed at the conclusion, by the English Anglican priest, hagiographer, antiquarian, novelist, folk song collector and eclectic scholar. His bibliography consists of more than 1240 publications, though this list continues to grow. He is remembered particularly as a writer of hymns, the best-known being "Onward, Christian Soldiers". Baring-Gould intended the lyrics to be a processional hymn for children walking from Horbury Bridge, where he was curate, to Horbury St Peter's Church near Wakefield, Yorkshire, at Whitsuntide in 1865. It was originally entitled, Hymn for Procession with Cross and Banners. The music was composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1871 with Sullivan naming the tune St. Gertrude. Baring-Gould is said to have written Onward, Christian Soldiers in only 15 minutes: "It was written in great haste" he wrote, "and I am afraid some of the rhymes are faulty. Certainly nothing has surprised me more than its popularity." It has since been sung at such events as the Atlantic Charter in 1941, by The Salvation Army as its preferred processional, and often in Civil Rights protests. In Part: "Onward, Christian soldiers marching as to war, with the Cross of Jesus going on before. Christ, the Royal Master leads against the foe, forward into battle see, His banners go...." This incredibly rare historic find is in fine condition, with flattened folds, minor age toning, and one of the lower horizontal folds is repaired with expert restoration on verso.