This page was created by Donal Hegarty.  The last update was by Alisa Clapp-Itnyre .

Sounding Childhood

Dare To Do Right

“Dare to do right” was a popular song found in numerous Bands of Hope songbooks.  Bands of Hope were organization for children as part of the Temperance Movement to teach children the value of abstinence, then join in the “fight” to reform adults in society.  This song, and “Wave the Flag,” engages children with almost a militaristic thrill.  “Dare to do right” mutes the message of temperance, though, putting it in the context of Christian moral living and what might be asked at the Final Judgment, “Look at your life as you’ll look at it then,/ Scanned by your God before angels and men.”  This song challenges the singer to “Stand by your conscience, your honor, your faith, / Stand like a hero and battle till death” (v. 2).  Powerful words for children to sing for their own self confidence in following a cause!  The third verse evokes a Christian message, of a God who will help the child in these endeavors, in ultimately self-less Pastoral care: “God sees your faith and will carry you through; / Keeping His loving help every in sight, / Can you not dare to be true and do right?” (v. 3). This score is from the Programme to a famous concert at Exeter Hall on 26 April 1898, for adults as well as children. The tune is by the famous American hymn-composer of catchy tunes, William Bradbury.  Perhaps because of this singable tune, it was the second-favorite song of the camp-kids.


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