|Composer:||Arthur Sullivan (1871)|
|Meter:||18.104.22.168 D with refrain|
|Incipit:||55555 65221 23|
Onward, Christian soldiers,
marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus
going on before!
Christ, the royal Master,
leads against the foe;
Forward into battle,
see his banner go!
The popularity of this hymn is partly due to ST. GERTRUDE, the marching tune that Arthur S. Sullivan (PHH 46) composed for this text. The tune was published in the Musical Times of December 1871 in an advertisement for Joseph Barnby's (PHH 438) forthcoming Hymnary, which published both text and tune in 1872. ST. GERTRUDE is named for Gertrude Clay-Ker-Seymer, at whose home in Hanford, Dorsetshire, England, Sullivan composed the tune.
Though some will want to sing the instrumental-style harmony, try singing in unison. Be sure to sing lightly in the manner of children's voices (not like Sherman tanks!).
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988