Cadence and Rhyme - Salvation Army Canada
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    Cadence and Rhyme

    Retrospective #28 October 11, 2017 Randy C. Hicks
    Just think – “Sally-Ann-Rappers” existed before 1909!
    Just think – “Sally-Ann-Rappers” existed before 1909!

    Retrospective #28 Cadence & Rhyme! 
    Randy C. Hicks

    It wasn’t until I became a Cadet that I discovered their existence. Until that time I had never seen one and honestly I haven’t seen one since (though I did possess a copy of one of them for a while along the way).The volume I had was “Number Two” so I surmised that somewhere out there was “Number One!” (Duh, Mudder always said I was smart!) Today I discovered that there are at least three of them.

    The first, published in 1908, was entitled OUR OWN RECITER, {A Collection of Recitations and Dialogues suitable for use in Salvation Army Meetings}. The next collection was published in 1950 under the title THE SALVATIONIST RECITER {A selection of Poems and Prose Readings} The third piece came out in 1967 and was known as SALVATIONIST RECITER Number Two. That's the one I got.

    In the preface of OOR(which, it seems, was book “0”) we read: “For some time now we have felt the need of a Recitation Book larger and more comprehensive than any that has yet been published by the Salvation Army. This book has been prepared to meet the need.”

    In TSR (I assume to be book “1”) there is no preface whatsoever and in SRNT in the preface we read “The speaker seems to have lost his way, and his congregation. A rustle of restlessness passes over the people. Somebody coughs; an audible yawn is heard. Then suddenly a hush stills the hall. They are listening once more. The speaker is reciting in rhyme, the sounds conveying ideas are pleasing, receiving attention…”

    Retrospective #28 Cadence & Rhyme! 
    Randy C. Hicks

    It wasn’t until I became a Cadet that I discovered their existence. Until that time I had never seen one and honestly I haven’t seen one since (though I did possess a copy of one of them for a while along the way).The volume I had was “Number Two” so I surmised that somewhere out there was “Number One!” (Duh, Mudder always said I was smart!) Today I discovered that there are at least three of them.

    The first, published in 1908, was entitled OUR OWN RECITER, {A Collection of Recitations and Dialogues suitable for use in Salvation Army Meetings}. The next collection was published in 1950 under the title THE SALVATIONIST RECITER {A selection of Poems and Prose Readings} The third piece came out in 1967 and was known as SALVATIONIST RECITER Number Two. That's the one I got.

    In the preface of OOR(which, it seems, was book “0”) we read: “For some time now we have felt the need of a Recitation Book larger and more comprehensive than any that has yet been published by the Salvation Army. This book has been prepared to meet the need.”

    In TSR (I assume to be book “1”) there is no preface whatsoever and in SRNT in the preface we read “The speaker seems to have lost his way, and his congregation. A rustle of restlessness passes over the people. Somebody coughs; an audible yawn is heard. Then suddenly a hush stills the hall. They are listening once more. The speaker is reciting in rhyme, the sounds conveying ideas are pleasing, receiving attention…”

    Just think – “Sally-Ann-Rappers” existed before 1909! Fire a volley! Amen! Now try to imagine - Soldiers ready to memorize and recite in the style of today’s “Rappers” a challenge from the Gospel or Holy living, a Salvation story or testimony, the possibilities seen almost endless! They did it then – could we not use a variation of this tool now? I know the talent is out there! Maybe some of our members are already doing this?

    As an officer in training I found and worked on “General William Booth Enters into Heaven” on pages 10-11 of the SALVATIONIST RECITER Number Two. The chill of excitement runs up my spine even now as I think about it. I worked on the cadence feeling the flow and in my mind’s eye – I could see it unfold before me! Perhaps you’ve done it as well or listened as another shared this marvellous work from Nicholas Vachel Lindsay.

    I’ve copied it for you below.

    Have a go at it!

    Challenge another to do it!

    Give it to a teen and tell the Captain you have a surprise in the making!

    That’s a “Rap!”

    And "That’s a wrap!”

    General William Booth Enters into Heaven
    BY VACHEL LINDSAY
    [To be sung to the tune of The Blood of the Lamb with indicated instrument]
    [BASS DRUM BEATEN LOUDLY] 
    Booth led boldly with his big bass drum— 
    (Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?) 
    The Saints smiled gravely and they said: “He’s come.” 
    (Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?) 
    Walking lepers followed, rank on rank, 
    Lurching bravoes from the ditches dank, 
    Drabs from the alleyways and drug fiends pale— 
    Minds still passion-ridden, soul-powers frail:— 
    Vermin-eaten saints with mouldy breath, 
    Unwashed legions with the ways of Death— 
    (Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)

    [BANJOS] 
    Every slum had sent its half-a-score 
    The round world over. (Booth had groaned for more.) 
    Every banner that the wide world flies 
    Bloomed with glory and transcendent dyes. 
    Big-voiced lasses made their banjos bang, 
    Tranced, fanatical they shrieked and sang:— 
    “Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?” 
    Hallelujah! It was queer to see 
    Bull-necked convicts with that land make free. 
    Loons with trumpets blowed a blare, blare, blare 
    On, on upward thro’ the golden air! 
    (Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)

    [BASS DRUM SLOWER AND SOFTER] 
    Booth died blind and still by Faith he trod, 
    Eyes still dazzled by the ways of God. 
    Booth led boldly, and he looked the chief 
    Eagle countenance in sharp relief, 
    Beard a-flying, air of high command 
    Unabated in that holy land.

    [SWEET FLUTE MUSIC] 
    Jesus came from out the court-house door, 
    Stretched his hands above the passing poor. 
    Booth saw not, but led his queer ones there 
    Round and round the mighty court-house square. 
    Yet in an instant all that blear review 
    Marched on spotless, clad in raiment new. 
    The lame were straightened, withered limbs uncurled 
    And blind eyes opened on a new, sweet world.

    [BASS DRUM LOUDER] 
    Drabs and vixens in a flash made whole! 
    Gone was the weasel-head, the snout, the jowl! 
    Sages and sibyls now, and athletes clean, 
    Rulers of empires, and of forests green!

    [GRAND CHORUS OF ALL INSTRUMENTS. 
    TAMBOURINES TO THE FOREGROUND] 
    The hosts were sandalled, and their wings were fire! 
    (Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?) 
    But their noise played havoc with the angel-choir. 
    (Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?) 
    O shout Salvation! It was good to see 
    Kings and Princes by the Lamb set free. 
    The banjos rattled and the tambourines 
    Jing-jing-jingled in the hands of Queens.

    [REVERENTLY SUNG. NO INSTRUMENTS] 
    And when Booth halted by the curb for prayer 
    He saw his Master thro’ the flag-filled air. 
    Christ came gently with a robe and crown 
    For Booth the soldier, while the throng knelt down. 
    He saw King Jesus. They were face to face, 
    And he knelt a-weeping in that holy place. 
    Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
    Source: Poetry (1913)

     Fire a volley! Amen! Now try to imagine - Soldiers ready to memorize and recite in the style of today’s “Rappers” a challenge from the Gospel or Holy living, a Salvation story or testimony, the possibilities seen almost endless! They did it then – could we not use a variation of this tool now? I know the talent is out there! Maybe some of our members are already doing this?

    As an officer in training I found and worked on “General William Booth Enters into Heaven” on pages 10-11 of the SALVATIONIST RECITER Number Two. The chill of excitement runs up my spine even now as I think about it. I worked on the cadence feeling the flow and in my mind’s eye – I could see it unfold before me! Perhaps you’ve done it as well or listened as another shared this marvellous work from Nicholas Vachel Lindsay.

    I’ve copied it for you below.

    Have a go at it!

    Challenge another to do it!

    Give it to a teen and tell the Captain you have a surprise in the making!

    That’s a “Rap!”

    And "That’s a wrap!”

    General William Booth Enters into Heaven
    BY VACHEL LINDSAY
    [To be sung to the tune of The Blood of the Lamb with indicated instrument]
    [BASS DRUM BEATEN LOUDLY] 
    Booth led boldly with his big bass drum— 
    (Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?) 
    The Saints smiled gravely and they said: “He’s come.” 
    (Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?) 
    Walking lepers followed, rank on rank, 
    Lurching bravoes from the ditches dank, 
    Drabs from the alleyways and drug fiends pale— 
    Minds still passion-ridden, soul-powers frail:— 
    Vermin-eaten saints with mouldy breath, 
    Unwashed legions with the ways of Death— 
    (Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)

    [BANJOS] 
    Every slum had sent its half-a-score 
    The round world over. (Booth had groaned for more.) 
    Every banner that the wide world flies 
    Bloomed with glory and transcendent dyes. 
    Big-voiced lasses made their banjos bang, 
    Tranced, fanatical they shrieked and sang:— 
    “Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?” 
    Hallelujah! It was queer to see 
    Bull-necked convicts with that land make free. 
    Loons with trumpets blowed a blare, blare, blare 
    On, on upward thro’ the golden air! 
    (Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)

    [BASS DRUM SLOWER AND SOFTER] 
    Booth died blind and still by Faith he trod, 
    Eyes still dazzled by the ways of God. 
    Booth led boldly, and he looked the chief 
    Eagle countenance in sharp relief, 
    Beard a-flying, air of high command 
    Unabated in that holy land.

    [SWEET FLUTE MUSIC] 
    Jesus came from out the court-house door, 
    Stretched his hands above the passing poor. 
    Booth saw not, but led his queer ones there 
    Round and round the mighty court-house square. 
    Yet in an instant all that blear review 
    Marched on spotless, clad in raiment new. 
    The lame were straightened, withered limbs uncurled 
    And blind eyes opened on a new, sweet world.

    [BASS DRUM LOUDER] 
    Drabs and vixens in a flash made whole! 
    Gone was the weasel-head, the snout, the jowl! 
    Sages and sibyls now, and athletes clean, 
    Rulers of empires, and of forests green!

    [GRAND CHORUS OF ALL INSTRUMENTS. 
    TAMBOURINES TO THE FOREGROUND] 
    The hosts were sandalled, and their wings were fire! 
    (Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?) 
    But their noise played havoc with the angel-choir. 
    (Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?) 
    O shout Salvation! It was good to see 
    Kings and Princes by the Lamb set free. 
    The banjos rattled and the tambourines 
    Jing-jing-jingled in the hands of Queens.

    [REVERENTLY SUNG. NO INSTRUMENTS] 
    And when Booth halted by the curb for prayer 
    He saw his Master thro’ the flag-filled air. 
    Christ came gently with a robe and crown 
    For Booth the soldier, while the throng knelt down. 
    He saw King Jesus. They were face to face, 
    And he knelt a-weeping in that holy place. 
    Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
    Source: Poetry (1913)

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