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(Source-Thomas Armstrong, Moores Fork, NY)

Composed by Charles Wesley (1707-1788), this hymn is also known as “Head Of The Church Triumphant”. Thomas Armstrong began work in the Michigan lumber camps at age 19 and, in those days, he drank a lot. When Mrs. Flanders came to record him, he hesitated. He told her "I haven't sung a worldly song in 30 years" and proceeded to recall the "gamut of inequity” he ran into until he was saved at a Methodist Camp Meeting. When Mrs. Flanders met him, he was preaching in camp meetings and "labors most helpfully with the penitent, contrite persons, whose trouble he can think of as he knew his own." (FLanders notes). Needless to say, with some clever coaxing by Mrs. Flanders, he sang not only the fine hymns in the collection but also a number of other folk songs.

lyrics

Head of thy church triumphant,
We joyfully adore thee
Till thou appear, thy members here
Shall sing like those in glory.
We lift our hearts and voices with blest anticipation,
And cry aloud, And give to God
The praise of our salvation.

Thou dost conduct thy people
Through torrents of temptation,
Nor will we fear, While thou art near,
The fire of tribulation.
And if thou count us worthy,
We each, as dying Stephen,
Shall see thee stand, At God's right hand,
To take us home to glory

By faith we see the glory
To which thou shalt restore us,
The cross despise, For that high prize
Which thou hast set before us.
And if thou count us worthy,
We each, as dying Stephen,
Shall see thee stand, At God's right hand,
To take us home to glory

credits

from Dad's Dinner Pail and Other Songs From the Helen Hartness Flanders Collection, released July 26, 2005
Debra Cowan: Vocal
John Roberts: Vocal

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Debra Cowan Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

Singer Debra Cowan performs a cappella and with guitar, interpreting a wide range of folk songs. Debra has two acclaimed solo recordings to her credit, and her third, “Fond Desire Farewell” was produced by former Fairport Convention drummer Dave Mattacks. A former California resident, she now resides in Massachusetts and tours all over North America and the United Kingdom. ... more

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