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Knapp was a glover and tutor of psalmody in Poole. His "Set of new Psalm Tunes and Anthems" was popular, achieving 8 editions between 1738 and 1770. Knapp's constituency was country (predominantly organless) parishes. The reduction provided with the current edition is best reserved for rehearsal use only.

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.
Yea, the waters had drowned us: and the stream had gone over our soul.
But praised be the Lord: 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: who hath made heaven and earth.
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William Knapp
(1698 - 1768)

If the Lord himself had not been on our side

(S.A.T.B. + reduction)

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