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Ancient Folk Song of the Netherlands

Updated: Feb 4, 2019

My ancestor, Daniel Tourneur, was the second Deacon of the first church in Harlem, The Harlem Church, beginning in 1662. Tourneur was one of the overseers of the construction of a timber church building on the corner of First Avenue and 127th Street in Harlem, shown here. The first service was held on September 30, 1686:

This "Ancient Folk Song of the Netherlands" was printed in the 1910 book, The Reformed Low Dutch Church of Harlem organized 1660: historical sketch, by Edgar Tiltin, in 1910.

We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing,

He chastens and hastens His will to make known;

The wicked oppressing cease them from distressing,

Sing praises to His name, He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,

Ordaining, maintaining His Kingdom divine,

So from the beginning the fight we were winning;

Thou, Lord, was at our side, - the glory be thine.

We all do extol thee, thou Leader in battle,

And pray that thou still our Defender will be,

Let they congregation escape tribulation;

Thy name be ever prais'd! - O Lord make us free!


  • The Reformed Low Dutch Church of Harlem organized 1660 : historical sketch, by Edgar Tiltin, 1910. (The poem and emblem illustration are in the public domain in the United States, having been created over 100 years ago). You can find this book on, here.

  • Drawing of The Harlem Church from "Harlem (City of New York): its origin and early annals. Prefaced by home scenes in the fatherlands", by James Riker, 1881.


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