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Liberty is Near! - CD

Product Code: 1490460

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£12.99

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The recently rediscovered National Chartist Hymn Book has powerful and poetic lyrics with a spirituality committed to social justice.
Garth takes these passionate hymns and puts tunes to them (the hymn book only had lyrics) to bring alive these fascinating songs that, though written about the events of 1845, seem to have a remarkable relevance to our own society.
They are rousing and thoughtful songs which echo with words such as Raise! Raise the cry! Let all respond; ‘Justice, and pure and equal laws.’ Garth’s hope is that this revival of hymns from the Chartist Movement will bring alive these poetic and challenging hymns for a new generation.
The recently rediscovered National Chartist Hymn Book has powerful and poetic lyrics with a spirituality committed to social justice.
Garth takes these passionate hymns and puts tunes to them (the hymn book only had lyrics) to bring alive these fascinating songs that, though written about the events of 1845, seem to have a remarkable relevance to our own society.
They are rousing and thoughtful songs which echo with words such as Raise! Raise the cry! Let all respond; ‘Justice, and pure and equal laws.’ Garth’s hope is that this revival of hymns from the Chartist Movement will bring alive these poetic and challenging hymns for a new generation.

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Specifications

Product Code1490460
NameLiberty is Near! - CD
SupplierKevin Mayhew
AuthorGarth Hewitt
Barcode656172003006
Short DescriptionThe recently rediscovered National Chartist Hymn Book has powerful and poetic lyrics with a spirituality committed to social justice.
Garth takes these passionate hymns and puts tunes to them (the hymn book only had lyrics) to bring alive these fascinating songs that, though written about the events of 1845, seem to have a remarkable relevance to our own society.
They are rousing and thoughtful songs which echo with words such as Raise! Raise the cry! Let all respond; ‘Justice, and pure and equal laws.’ Garth’s hope is that this revival of hymns from the Chartist Movement will bring alive these poetic and challenging hymns for a new generation.
Pack Size1
Date Published8 Aug 2013
Lead Time3 weeks (approx.) if out of stock
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Keywords

Liberty is Near!, 1490460, Garth Hewitt, National Chartist Hymn Book
Jesus Music Review by Tony Jasper
Star Rating
One artist, though, has been around on the JM scene for an unbelievable 40 years and has issued more than 40 albums – Garth Hewitt.
Hewitt’s latest is something special. Liberty Is Near (KM Records) has a subtitle that tells the basis of this recording: Garth Hewitt sings “Hymns from the Chartist Hymn Book”. This takes us back to the 19th century to a Movement when hymns were political rallying cries written by workers. Chartism was a national movement for political reform which began in the
late 1830s and had a considerable base in some areas of Christian expression.
In terms of hymn-singing it was very much a time for dissenting groups, such as Methodists and Baptists, where as the Church of England regarded hymn-singing as expressing, among other things, a very questionable nature of unbridled and controlled emotion.
One of its supporters, the local preacher Abram Hanson, desired preachers who preach a “full belly, Christ and a well-clothed back. Christ and a good house to live in. Christ and universal suffrage”. Chartists were known to assemble in numbers at a parish church and having sent in advance the sermon the rector should preach!
This is a beautifully arranged recording: tracks flow seamlessly and intelligently with Hewitt’s fighting vocals often adorned by femme back-ups. There are some great folk-style moments of singing, as on “Hark, I hear” lusty in output, clear in words. The first few bars of “How long” seem those that introduce a long time back, “Eve of destruction” from Barry McGuire. Musically there is a jaunty air to proceedings, especially on the track “Men of England”, a track that is followed initially by a gospelish intro to “Lo, in thy name” that is beautiful. Hewitt has not sourced, and perhaps there is no tune book for the actual 19th century lyrics for the tunes that might have been sung. Instead
this talented singer songwriter-musician sets his own tunes or makes use of existing ones, whether folk or gospel or hymn. Unlike most contemporary Christian albums, this is not a set praising Jesus for whatever, it is firmly
rooted in the kind of society those of religious belief should espouse. It is striking how many themes on this album remain today. Of course, the Chartist movement failed in many respects, although eventually some of its aspirations were realised. However, for starters, it might be asked why Christian-based singers today do not have more than a passing interest in general inequality. At least Mr Hewitt battles away. Other than his concert performances, he is the Guild Vicar of All Hallows on-the-Wall in the City of
London – a centre for organisations involved in issues of justice and art.
“Liberty’s near!” provides an excellent discussion starter and is in itself an excellent release. (Posted on 04/03/2014)
Hewitt gives the hymns a sympathetic contemporary arrangement, singing them with conviction, accompanied by guitar, fiddle and accordion, and sometimes a choir. Review by Stephen Tomkins is editor of Reform
Star Rating
You often hear it said that religion has kept working people in their place. Christians may have campaigned for the abolition of slavery overseas, but they fought to stop British workers getting their own freedom. It's not as if there's no truth in that accusation, but Liberty Is Near! gives a welcome airing to the other side of the story.
Garth Hewitt, a musician with a 40-year career, is an Anglican vicar and founder of the human rights charity Amos Trust. The idea for this present CD came when he heard of the discovery in Todmorden Library in 2011 of the only remaining copy of the National Chartist Hymn Book. He has provided
tunes to the hymns and recorded them.
Chartism was a working-class political movement of the 1830s and 1840s, when even the great Reform Act, 1832, had completely excluded workers from the political nation. Their charter appealed for universal adult male suffrage, secret ballots and other rights that we consider fundamental to our society. Their petitions gained millions of signatures, many thousands attended their meetings, and in 1848 the movement was crushed by the sledgehammer of government.
It was a political movement, but their hymns give us a vivid insight into the importance of religion to the campaign. It was a movement of faith that God would intervene on behalf of the oppressed and give them their just rights. As one hymn says: “See the writing on the wall:/‘Tyranny is doomed to fall.’”
No one had told the Chartists that religion and politics don't mix, that “personal beliefs” should be kept out of the public sphere, or that Christianity was about keeping workers in their place. God's favour is a consolation for the miserable in the hymns, but also a promise spurring them on to courage and sacrifice in their campaign for a fairer world.
Hewitt gives the hymns a sympathetic contemporary arrangement, singing them with conviction, accompanied by guitar, fiddle and accordion, and sometimes a choir. The result is an album that pays tribute to the men and women who fought for the freedoms we now take for granted, and to the Dissenting political spirituality that drove them. If their struggle towards distant justice and equality led to the world where we enjoy the rights they hoped for, then were left with a challenge: Why cant the hopes of the worlds poorest people reach the same fulfilment? (Posted on 20/11/2013)
Liberty is near! Review by Stephen Tomkins is editor of Reform
Star Rating
You often hear it said that religion has kept working people in their place. Christians may have campaigned for the abolition of slavery overseas, but they fought to stop British workers getting their own freedom. It's not as if there's no truth in that accusation, but Liberty Is Near! gives a welcome airing to the other side of the story.
Garth Hewitt, a musician with a 40-year career, is an Anglican vicar and founder of the human rights charity Amos Trust. The idea for this present CD came when he heard of the discovery in Todmorden Library in 2011 of the only remaining copy of the National Chartist Hymn Book. He has provided tunes to the hymns and recorded them.
Chartism was a working-class political movement of the 1830's and 1840's, when even the great Reform Act, 1832, had completely excluded workers from the political nation. Their charter appealed for universal adult male suffrage, secret ballots and other rights that we consider fundamental to our society. Their petitions gained millions of signatures, many thousands attended their meetings, and in 1848 the movement was crushed by the sledgehammer of government.
It was a political movement, but their hymns give us a vivid insight into the importance of religion to the campaign. It was a movement of faith that God would intervene on behalf of the oppressed and give them their just rights. As one hymn says: “See the writing on the wall:/‘Tyranny is doomed to fall.’”
No one had told the Chartists that religion and politics don't mix, that “personal beliefs” should be kept out of the public sphere, or that Christianity was about keeping workers in their place. God's favour is a consolation for the miserable in the hymns, but also a promise spurring them on to courage
and sacrifice in their campaign for a fairer world.
Hewitt gives the hymns a sympathetic contemporary arrangement, singing them with conviction, accompanied by guitar, fiddle and accordion, and sometimes a choir. The
result is an album that pays tribute to the men and women who fought for the freedoms we now take for granted, and to the Dissenting political spirituality that drove them. If their struggle towards distant justice and equality led to the world where we enjoy the rights they hoped for, then we're left with a challenge: Why can't the hopes of the world's poorest people reach the same fulfilment? (Posted on 18/10/2013)

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Singer, songwriter and author Garth Hewitt has been recording songs for nearly 40 years, and has released over 40 albums. Garth’s music and writings reflect a spirituality of hope and a simple way of life that rejects violence and affirms equality and human rights.

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Check out an interview with Garth Hewitt on our blog.

Hail, glorious morn!
Assembled ’neath thy broad blue sky
Daily bread
Sons of poverty
For every thing a time
Men of England
Lo, in thy name
Hark, I hear
How long
God of the poor!
Great God!
Source of good
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