Henry Aldrich
(1640 - 1710)

Aldrich : If the Lord himself had not been on our side : illustration

If the Lord himself had not been on our side
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From Ch. Ch. Mus 19, wherein it is qualified, in a later hand "Dr. Child", and an even later hand "No". Child's setting of this text is also available from notAmos. It is probable that Aldrich composed this setting for Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford but, given his habit of adapting the works of others, the piece may be by an as yet unidentified third party.

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.
Lyrics: Psalm 124

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: when they were so wrathfully displeased at us.
Yea, the waters had drowned us: and the stream had gone over our soul.
The deep waters of the proud: had gone even over our soul.
But praised be the Lord: which hath not given us over for a prey unto their teeth.
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: which hath made heaven and earth.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be:
world without end. Amen.