“When the Troops Come Marching Home” and “Help Me Be True.” [1898 Publisher’s Music Proof Sheets with emendations and corrections]
Publisher’s music proof sheets for two songs by hymnodist Agnes C. Woolston (c.1859–?), author of the popular hymn “He Leadeth Me.” The proofs were printed by Wm. H. Keyser & Co., Philadelphia textbook publisher and music typographer, and comprise the music and lyrics for two songs: “When the Troops Come Marching Home” and “Help Me Be True.” The former song was composed for use by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.), though, by a simple change of lyrics, could be “...used in evangelistic work.” The proofs of both hymns are heavily emended and corrected including changes to their titling, lyrics, and music.
While the title and date of this music suggest a possible connection to the Spanish-American War, the “Troops” are a metaphor for the women reformers who are returning from their evangelical work, campaigning under the “White Banner” of temperance.
Description: “When the Troops Come Marching Home” and “Help Me Be True.” [1898 Publisher’s Music Proof Sheets with emendations and corrections]
[Philadelphia: Wm. H. Keyser & Co., 1898]. ff. Sheet Music Proofs. 12 x 9½ inches. Manuscript emendations and corrections; date and publisher’s notice stamped in red ink. Folds; some closed tears at edges; minor handling; Very Good.
Ref. Agnes C. Woolston… accessed online.