Singing Judith Brock and Polly Gould...

Aug 5, 2012 by

A wonderful anecdote in this 1902 History of Newbury, Vermont (see embedded text below) gives the background on Jeremiah Ingalls’ song LAMENTATION (ShH 258), written for the death of young Judith Brock. [BROCK], JUDITH, b. Aug 6, 1783; d. Jan 26, 1797. (The Abbott register says 1802). She was long remembered in Newbury. The editor well recollects hearing his grandfather, John Wells, ask one of his music loving associates, “Can you sing Judith Brock?” “No.” was the reply. “I can sing Polly Gould, but I can’t sing Judith Brock.” This enigmatical reply deserves elucidation. A hymn of eighteen stanzas was composed and sung at her funeral, in the old meeting-house. This extraordinary production begins: “Death loud alarms, we feel the shock Louder than thunder’s roar, With grief we learn that Judith Brock, Is known...

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