|Composer (attr.):||Freeman Lewis (1825)|
|Incipit:||51132 17111 13134|
|Source:||Columbian Harmony, 1825;Beauties of Harmony, Pittsburgh, 1814|
A pentatonic (five-pitch) folk tune from the southern United States, BOURBON fits well with the penitential text of Psalm 38. The tune calls for unison singing, with accompaniment providing a firmly articulated rhythm. Like many pentatonic tunes, when unaccompanied it can be sung in canon after either one or two measures.
Included in Columbian Harmony (1825), BOURBON was credited there to Freeman Lewis (1780-1859) and set to "Twas on that Dark and Doleful Night," a text often attributed to Isaac Watts. The tune appeared in several other nineteenth-century songbooks, among them Hauser's Hesperian Harp (1848). The tune title presumably refers to the aristocratic French family whose descendants included Henry IV, Phillip V, and Charles III, and after which a Kentucky county is named.
The harmonization (1958) is by Louise McAllister (b. Louisville, KY, 1913; d. Richmond, VA, 1960). She spent her childhood in Louisville, where her father was a professor at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. In 1925, when her father began teaching at Union Theological Seminary, she moved to Richmond, Virginia, and lived there the rest of her life. A pianist, composer, teacher, and writer, McAllister attended the Collegiate School in Richmond, Virginia, and Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, Virginia. She published many piano compositions and harmonizations of folk-hymn melodies.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987