In the many treasures that my Dad had in his possession is this little songbook. There are a few pages missing which do not allow it to be dated easily but you’ll see by the photo of this one page, there is a report on the work of TSA which highlights the year-end of 1891 so it may be safe to assume that this was printed in 1892. Certainly, it pre-dates anything I have seen in my years of Salvation Army officership.
When we went to Listowel in 1983 there was a set of four Salvation Army songbooks in a small wooden case which meant they were in fabulous condition – I later took them to the archives. They were published in 1931. There was a re-publishing of TSA songbook in 1957 and 1985 and finally again 2017.
The days of 1891/2 have some insightful publications, some national and some local. The report book which was the called the Field Officers report, and that too was on hand in Listowel listed a few activities for the officers on the field. It included those who attended Sunday services, number of War Crys, amount of money collected and number of visits made to people. The field officers record for Listowel that was on hand went back to 1895.
There are some interesting titles within this very small book. Unfortunately the cover is very faint.
The words Salvation Army are faint but visible. The pocket size of this means it could be carried easily.
Here’s some fascinating pages which are in different parts of this little book. They appear to head up the songs that follow.
The reference to the War Office is fascinating as the theme and strategy was built around the idea of waging “war on sin”. Thus activities of corps tended to reflect this. Our songs also enforced this idea.
This song is credited to Professor Wiggins (which sounds like a character from a Carol Burnett sketch).
As I’ve read through this little book there are many very familiar songs which have evidently survived almost 150 years but some I wish we had tunes for. Here’s one that outlines General Booth’s strategy for helping men and women.
At one point while we were the leaders in Alberta I wrote the minister of citizenship and employment on the issue of minimum wage and later had a meeting with the minister of social services and used the issue raised in this song – Booth’s assertion that the horse pulling the cab was better looked after than many men and women.
This is a wonderful piece of heritage and I really treasure it.