IHAS: Songbook, General Booth Enters Into Heaven
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General Booth Enters Into Heaven


Performance Music: Sidney Homer
Text: Vachel Lindsay
Composed 1826
Published by G. Schirmer

Performed by Thomas Hampson & Craig Rutenberg




PlayReal Audio    Download.WAV File (371K)


General Booth Enters Into Heaven

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 bravos from the ditches dank
Drabs the alleyways and drug fiends pale
Minds still passion ridden, soul flowers frail:
Vermin eaten saints with moldy breath,
Unwashed legions with the ways of Death
(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)

Ev'ry slum had sent its half a score
The world round over. (Booth had groaned for more).
Ev'ry banner that the wide world flies
Bloomed with glory and transcendent dyes,
Big voiced lassies made their banjoes bang,
Tranced, fanatical they shrieked and sang;
"Are you? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?"

Hallelulah! It was queer to see
Bull necked convicts with that land made free.
Loons with trumpets a blare, blare, blare,
On, on, upward thro' the golden air!
(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)

Booth died blind and still by Faith he trod,
Eyes still dazzled by the ways of God!
Booth led boldly and he look'd the chief
Eagle countenance in sharp relief,
Beard a-flying, air of high command
Unabated in that holy land.

Jesus came from the court house door,
Stretched his hands above the passing poor.
Booth saw not, but led his queer ones
Round and round the mighty courthouse 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.
Drabs and vixens in a flash made whole!
Gone was the weasel head, the snout, the jowel
Sages and sibyls now, and athletes clean,
Rulers of empires and of forests green!
The hosts were sandall'd and their wings were fire!
(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)

But their noise play'd havoc with the angel choir,
(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)
Oh shout Salvation!
It was good to see Kings and Princes by the Lamb set free.
The banjos rattled and the tambourines
Jingling jingl'd in the hands of Queens.

And when Booth halted by the curb for prayer
He saw his Master thro' the flag fill'd 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?


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