Hatfield (William Billings)

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  • (Posted 2023-09-19)  CPDL #75542:       
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2023-09-19).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 55 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transcribed from The Psalm-Singer's Amusement (1804) for SATB. Round notes. Three double-common meter stanzas included.
  • (Posted 2023-09-19)  CPDL #75541:         
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2023-09-19).   Score information: 7 x 10 inches (landscape), 1 page, 56 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transcribed from The Psalm-Singer's Amusement (1804) for SATB. Note shapes (4-shape) added. Three double-common meter stanzas included.
  • (Posted 2023-09-19)  CPDL #75516:         
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2023-09-19).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 43 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transcribed from The Waterhouse Manuscript, copied 1780. Treble part is incomplete in the manuscript.

General Information

Title: Hatfield
Composer: William Billings
Lyricist: Anonymous
Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: TrTB, or SATB
Genre: SacredPsalm-tune Meter: 86. 86 (C.M.)

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

    Manuscript 1780 in The Waterhouse Manuscript, no. 1
First published: 1793 in The American Harmony
    2nd published: 1804 in The Psalm-Singer's Amusement, no. 21
    3rd published: 1805 in The American Harmony (Jeremiah Ingalls), no. 18
Description: This tune was probably composed by William Billings before 1780, and copied into The Waterhouse Manuscript at (or soon after) a singing-school session; the manuscript page is dated May 30, 1780. Obviously the copyist, Susanna Heath, didn't complete copying the Treble part. The words are anonymous and recondite, apparently a later stanza from a longer poem, "Here is a song, which doth belong", but the first complete version of this poem was not published until 1812.

The tune appeared in Shumway's American Harmony (1793) with different words, "Naked, as from the earth we came", then in Ingalls' Christian Harmony as The True Penitent, with yet different words. Billings had apparently considerably revised the tune in the 1780s or 1790s, but the revision didn't appear until the posthumous Psalm-Singer's Amusement in 1804 or thereabouts, when it was paired with Isaac Watts' words, "Let others boast how strong they be".

External websites:

Original text and translations

Original text and translations may be found at Here is a song, which doth belong and Let others boast how strong they be.