On June 5, 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Thirty-Second President of the United States (1933-1945), addressed the nation regarding the Allied Forces taking back the city of Rome, the first of the three capitals held by the Axis countries. The text for The Fall of Rome is based on prayer that FDR delivered to the nation by radio on D-Day, June 6, 1944, as the invasion of the Allied troops was underway in France.
When I first approached this text, I knew that these words came with a heavy weight. This prayer represented not only Americans, but also all those who were suffering in this world. The opening build of the text, “Almighty God” was set to represent the anguish of all. Whether I set the text slightly off between parts, or created a massive polyphonic ostinato, I did my best to represent the individual voice of those begging for peace on earth. Although our troops are not currently crossing the Atlantic Ocean to invade, I can’t help but think that |this text is still very relevant to today’s society. What remains true between now and then is that we are all humans and that we need to work together to make this world a better place. In the words of FDR, “We have learned to be citizens of the world, members of the human community.”
2016 - For Franklin Delano Roosevelt 75th Anniversary Concert
Title: The Fall of Rome
Ensemble: The Master Singers
Conductor: Dr. Gary R. Schwartzhoff
Available for SSAATTBB
Coming soon to Colla Voce!
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Our sons, pride of our Nation,
this day have set upon a mighty endeavor,
to preserve our Republic and to set free a suffering humanity.
Lead them straight and true;
give strength to their arms,
stoutness to their hearts,
steadfastness in their faith.
Their road will be long and hard.
Success may not come with rushing speed,
but we shall return again and again.
They will be sore tried, by night and by day,
without rest-until the victory is won.
The darkness will be rent by noise and flame.
Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.
They fight not for the lust of conquest.
They fight to end conquest.
They fight to liberate.
They fight to let justice arise,
and tolerance and good will among all Thy people.
Some will never return.
Embrace these, Father,
and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.
And for us at home, help us, Almighty God,
to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in
Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.
O Lord, give us Faith.
Give us Faith in Thee;
Faith in our sons;
Faith in each other;
and Faith in our united crusade.
Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled.
Thy will be done, Almighty God.