If the Lord himself had not been on our side (William Knapp)

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  • (Posted 2016-10-09)  CPDL #41378:  Network.png
Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2016-10-09).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 73 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download. Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score. Knapp's constituency was country (predominantly organless) parishes. The reduction provided with the current edition is best reserved for rehearsal use only.
  • (Posted 2011-08-22)  CPDL #24226:        (Sibelius 6)
Editor: Edmund Gooch (submitted 2011-08-22).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 37 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: The parts are identified in the source (at the start of this anthem) as Cantus - Medius - Tenor - Bass: the Medius part is printed in the alto clef. Indications of voicing for solos, which have been added to the present edition where given in square brackets, are absent from the source, where the voicing is clearly shown by the presence of all four staves throughout the piece, with rests for the other three parts in each solo. The natural on the C in the tenor part in the second half of beat 2, bar 11 is editorial: this note has no accidental in the source.

General Information

Title: If the Lord himself had not been on our side
Composer: William Knapp

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredAnthem

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1738 in A Sett of New Psalm-Tunes and Anthems
Description: An anthem by William Knapp, from pages 71-76 of the first edition of his collection A Sett of New Psalm-Tunes and Anthems (1738), where it is headed 'An Anthem Ps. 124th for the 5th of November'. Psalm 124 was specified in the Book of Common Prayer as a part of the liturgy for 5th November, the anniversary of the frustration of the Gunpowder Plot. Introduced in 1662 as part of the post-restauration settlement, the liturgies for 30th January (Charles. King and Martyr's Day), 29th May (Restauration Day) and 5th November were included in the BCP until 1859. All were set by Knapp.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Original text and translations may be found at Psalm 124.

English.png English text

If the Lord himself had not been on our side, now may Israel say;
If the Lord himself had not been on our side, when men rose up against us;
They had swallowed us up quick:
Yea, the waters had drowned us, and the stream had gone over our soul.
But praised be the Lord: our soul is escaped,
Even as a bird out of the snare of the fowler:
The snare is broken, and we are delivered.
Our help standeth in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.