Presented Sunday, Jan. 14, 1934 by Church Music Committee
Radio Dramatization of Famous “Mormon” Pioneer Song Written by William Clayton
As another Sabbath nears its thoughtful close we bring you once more the Sunday evening radio service of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Tonight, after several weeks’ absence from the air, we resume the dramatic portrayal of some of the hymns of this Church. This series is presented under the direction of Elder George D. Pyper, representing the Church music committee; a group of singers, under the direction of B.F. Pulham, will be heard singing “Send Out Thy Light and Thy Truth.”
It now becomes my pleasure to present George D. Pyper, representing the Church music committee.
George D. Pyper – We shall present a dramatization of an episode connected with one of the most fascinating and thrilling stories of American history – the thousand mile trek of Brigham Young and the “Mormon” pioneers, in 1847.
It was some time prior to the time of our story that Joseph Smith, the “Mormon” prophet, prophesied that the Saints (meaning the “Mormons”) would be driven to the Rocky Mountains, and after many hardships, would there become a mighty people.
Following the prophet’s martyrdom, Brigham Young, president of the Twelve Apostles, became the “Mormon” leader. Because of persecution, the Saints were forced to abandon their homes and leave their beautiful city of Nauvoo. They traveled to a place which they named Winter Quarters, located near the present city of Omaha, Neb.; and from that point the remarkable pioneer march began. From the Missouri river to the Rocky Mountains! A thousand miles of sagebrush and desert sand, of dangerous fords and uncharted trails – an epic in the founding of the west!
The tabloid drama features “Come, Come, Ye Saints,” one of the most loved songs of the “Mormon” people.
Mrs. Lila Eccles Brimhall will read the prologue and incidental verses.
From all he loved the Prophet turned away,
To save his people he alone must stay.
His life the only ransom that could wrest
A place of refuge in the distant west.
His hand to point the trail to liberty –
The Promised Land that he should never see.
With little children weeping at his feet,
From every tie that made his life complete –
He turned away to face the bitter fate
That martyrs share – their lives to consecrate.
The Exile and the Flag on the Trail
Then came the weary exiles
From the country they adored,
When Justice turned away her face
From the children of the Lord.
Nauvoo, Nauvoo, the Beautiful
Made desolate in her plight
As o’er the river’s bridge of ice
They fled in the wintry night.
A band without a country,
But her flag was still their own,
And with loyal hands they bore her
Out into the wild unknown.
In their exile they would serve her
And the world should yet attest
How the Saints were first to plant her
In the valleys of the west.
On, on they trudged in banishment
But pledged Old Glory as they went.
Mr. Pyper: The pioneers have been traveling all day through wild unbroken country. They are footsore and weary; and as the evening approaches they pull up and make camp on the flat lonely plain. The chill of April is in the air. The mournful howling of wolves is heard in the gathering gloom of the desolate prairie. The fear of an attack from the Indians makes the men and women ever watchful. The men are attending to the horses and cattle. Some of them are mending broken wagon wheels. the three pioneer women are helping as best they can, though one of them is quite ill. All are busy helping each other before the deep shadows of night close in upon them.
The men and women heard in the play are: Brigham Young and his wife, Clara; Lorenzo D. Young, his wife Harriet and their children Isaac and Lorenzo S. Young; Wilford Woodruff, William Clayton, Orson Pratt, Heber C. Kimball and his wife, Ellen, and Hark Lay, a negro.
As the play opens, Brigham Young is talking to Heber C. Kimball and Wilford Woodruff, when we hear the sound of a bugle note far away.
Dramatization of “Come, Come Ye Saints”
(Sound of bugle calls in distance)
Heber: Is that Hark Lay practicing on the bugle, Brother Brigham?
Brigham: Yes, Brother Kimball, our official bugler is sick with fever. He has not left his wagon this whole day.
Heber: Sounds like Hark is getting some good tones worked out anyway. Eh, Brother Woodruff.
Wilford: Yes; they’re lusty enough if you call that good.
Brigham: Call him over, Heber, we’ll try him out.
Heber: All right, Brother Brigham. Hey, boy, let’s have the try out over here.
Brigham: Sound it again, Hark, loud and clear, like you meant it.
(Bugle sounds near at hand.)
Brigham: That’s sturdy enough. Now see that you sound it without fail, every morning, mind you, Hark, sharply at five.
Hark: Yes, Marse Brigham, dis bugle am gwine to keep company wid de larks.
Brigham: Now, Hark, that bugle calls every one of us to prayer. Then will follow camp duty, cooking, eating, feeding of teams, then at seven, another call, and on we move. Understand?
Hark: Yes, Marse Brigham, I’ll sho sound it, and if any skulking Injun ever criss-crosses dese here plains, he’ll think it is Kingdom Come.
Brigham: Yes, speaking of Indians, we’ll be moving through the Pawnee tribes, and it means every man beside his team with loaded gun in hand, no one to leave his post without permission of his company officer, and in case of attack, the wagons will travel in double file. At camp the wagons will be arranged in a circle, making a safe enclosure for horses and cattle.
Wilford: With that formation we should be able to withstand any attack. As we now stand there are 148 able bodied men in military form and ready to move out. We sure can protect the three women and two children as well as take care of our own lives.
Brigham: Well said, Wilford. Now, Hark, at eight thirty each night, that bugle must speak again, this time for evening prayer, and at nine sharp it sounds for bed.
Hark: Yes, suh, Marse Brigham, dis bugle is gwine to sing its screetchingist lullaby out dar in de moonlight.
Brigham: All right, Hark. That will be all. Do your duty.
Hark: Yes, suh!
Brigham: Heber, you might go over that list of livestock again, and we’ll make a final check-up.
Heber: There should be 93 horses, 52 mules, 66 oxen, 19 cows, 73 wagons, 17 dogs and some chickens.
Brigham; That’s better than I thought.
Harriet: Isaac –
Isaac: Yes, mother.
Harriet: Lorenzo –
Lorenzo: Yes, mother.
Harriet: Come, boys, and help me, please.
Hark: Kin I help too, Mis’ Young?
Harriet: No, thank you, Hark, the boys like to.
Boy: Yes, mother.
Harriet: Just tuck the robe around my shoulders, please.
Boys: Yes – All right.
Mother: There – that’s right. Thank you.
Isaac (Whispering): Listen, mother, are you going to be scared out there when it’s night and the Injuns prowl around?
Harriet: Never scared with my two brave boys alongside of me.
Lorenzo S.: Mother, can I always sleep with you in the wagon bed?
Harriet: Of course, son, but we are none of us going to be afraid with father here and Uncle Brigham our guardian and protector, our Lieutenant General, our Prophet and Seer, all in one.
Isaac: And with a cannon over there mounted on that wagon, with Brother Tanner the cannoneer, and eight men to help him fire it. We’ll be all right, won’t we Hark?
Hark Lay: Yes, suh! And my dawg Caesar trotting alongside for de body guard, and dere’s dat boat all ready to cross the Riber of Jordan if dem buntin’ headed buffalo get pushing us in de rear.
Lorenzo S.: Do you think the Indians ever saw a cannon, Hark?
Hark: Never, but dey is gwine to hear one like the trump of Judgment day if dey stop within de bounds of the Caravan of Glory. And dis Roman Empire of a dawg is gwine to scent out de first skulking chief.
Harriet: Caesar is going to keep things lively for us. I believe he understands all about the journey.
Hark: I sho have trained him to be the first lieutenant of dis dog brigade.
(Exit Hark and boys. Fading voices of children. Sound of Harriet moaning a little.)
Clara: How are you feeling, Harriet?
Harriet: Oh, is that Clara Young?
Clara: Yes, and Ellen Kimball is with me.
Ellen: How are you, Harriet, now?
Harriet: I get chilly as soon as the sun goes down. Always shivering in the evening, but I’m so thankful to be along with Lorenzo.
Ellen: We are thankful to be with our husbands, too. This attack of malaria was the only reason that made it possible for you to come. Lorenzo knew you’d die if you remained at Winter Quarters in the damp an chill of the Missouri river.
Clara: You could not have lived through another attack.
Ellen: It was for your sake that Brigham let Clara and me come along. he knew you’d need care and good nursing. I’m thankful to be here instead of at Winter Quarters nursing another siege of black canker.
Clara: Oh, that dreadful plague and that terrible epidemic of black leg. All those months without potatoes or green vegetables. Everyone so reduced from want and hardships.
Ellen: Yes, Heber and I were counting up the burials before the frost came. There were over six hundred. I don’t believe a single home escaped death. I’ll never forget it. Everything at a standstill. The Cows went unmilked for days, the livestock neglected. And at one time the grave digging got so far behind, I’ve actually seen mothers sitting at the tent doors, brushing the flies off their dead children.
Harriet: Oh! I’m thankful to leave that horror.
Ellen: Here comes Lorenzo with more bedding for you, Harriet. Isn’t he the most thoughtful man?
Clara: Good evening.
Lorenzo: Oh, Clara, my dear. Good evening, Ellen. I’m glad you are here with Harriet. Let me put this quilt over you, dear. It’s time for that nightly chill.
Harriet: Thanks, dear. I am chattering a little, but I know I am better than I was.
Lorenzo: You’re going to be well as soon as we leave this river damp behind. Out there in the prairie sage, malaria will vanish over night. Are you comfortable now?
Harriet: Yes, thank you. Lorenzo – You’re not sorry you brought me?
Lorenzo: Sorry? Why, I’m the luckiest man in the quarters to have an ailing wife who couldn’t be left.
Clara: Ellen, our husbands are looking for us. Oh, they see us and are coming here.
(Brothers Young and Kimball come. Words of greeting from all.)
Brigham: Oh, well, you’re here.
Kimball: Here you are.
Brigham: Well, Harriet, you are feeling better already.
Harriet: I’m feeling right smart, Brigham, better far than I expected to be so soon after leaving Winter Quarters.
Brigham: Keep it up, keep it up, and we’ll be having you around dancing and singing at one of our moonlight concerts, for we’re going to sing and we’re going to dance, and prove we’re glad to be on our way. There shall be the lively strains of the violin, and we are going to celebrate even though we are outcasts from civilization, thrust out in the savage waste of the wilderness, little to eat, little to wear, everything to endure. We’re going to be merry about it, and there’s no retreat.
Heber: At the close of each day’s journey, I propose that we assembly in a sort of daily program or entertainment, always giving thanks for every milestone of safety achieved.
Clara: Do you know, Brigham, I have been thinking we need a sort of rally song, a song all our own, to stir our lagging steps, something we can sing like a battle hymn, all in chorus together.
Brigham: A rally song – why, we have one already. What about that “All is Well” song of Clayton’s. William? where is William?
W. Clayton (from distance): Here, sir.
Brigham: Come here, please.
Heber: Clayton and Appleton Harmon have been talking all day about some measuring device.
Clayton: Well, Brother Brigham.
Brigham: How does it work?
Clayton: Sort of on the principle of the endless screw. I’m going to call it an odometer if it behaves itself.
Lorenzo: William doesn’t propose to walk all day counting the revolutions of a wagon wheel with a red rag tied to the spoke.
Brigham: Orson, you know a great deal about inventions. what do you think of it?
Pratt: Looks right to me. William just suggested to me that we set this wooden cog to an ordinary wheel and let it do the recording of distance automatically.
Brigham; Well, if you have the heads to figure it out, you can count on all our hands to further its construction. Orson, I see you have perfected your sextant. You will be taking our meridian altitude of the sun right along.
Pratt: Yes, my instruments are all in order. Here’s one for taking barometrical pressure, and my charts and maps are pretty well defined.
Brigham: I’m most grateful to have you along. The world shall yet proclaim you one of its eminent scientists.
William, I have another commission for you. Let’s see, you are our schoolmaster, our poet, our clerk of court, our associate inventor, and now we need you for our song leader, and do you know what I’ve been thinking? That song you wrote a year ago, just out of Nauvoo, “Come, Come Ye Saints,” set to the good old English tune, “All is Well.” The more I think of it, the more I recognize in it a carry-on theme, something to get us up and doing, a song that I promise you shall sing down into the history of this westward movement. You might get us some copies prepared and let’s get singing it.
William: Your confidence in my ability is like a benediction, Brigham. I shall try to find it and get the boys started at it this very night.
Wilford: it’s quite in line with our modern scripture that we should sing and be merry. I’ve been reading it over. Here it is (Doc. and Cov. Section 136): “If thou art merry, praise the Lord with singing and with music and with dancing, and with prayer and thanksgiving. If thou art sorrowful call on the Lord thy God with supplication, that your souls may be joyful.”
Harriet: Brigham seems to have thought of everything.
Clara: Yes, he is truly a leader and masterful in his leadership.
Ellen: Never since the day I saw him that Sunday afternoon could I doubt him – That day when he said, “I will tell you who your leaders are going to be – the Twelve – and I at their head.”
Harriet: Yes, it was with a voice like the Prophet Joseph. I thought it was the Prophet. And so did all who heard.
Clara: Yes, it seemed as if it were the very person of Joseph who stood among us.
(Far off in the distance is heard the faint strains of a humming chorus of male voices, theme, “Come, Come ye Saints.” Continued throughout following reading.)
Clara: Oh, listen! the men are singing our rally song.
Mrs. Brimhall reads:
List, the Marseillaise of Latter Days.
At the battle line of toil,
Where sang they litany of praise
From the heart of the stubborn soil.
‘Twas the song of the empire builders,
‘Twas the hope of the old compeers,
‘Mid a structure that bewilders
The width of the hemispheres.
‘Twas the voice of their Rock of Ages
That rended the firmament,
And its theme on history’s pages
Sings over a continent.
‘Twas the anthem code of achieving –
Lo! the text of a master pen,
And the creed of their sons’ believing
Falls clean from the lips of men!
(From “The Message of the Ages”)
Chorus bursts into full volume near at hand, singing words of song (two verses).
Come, Come, Ye Saints
Come, come, ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear,
But with joy wend your way;
Tho’ hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.
‘Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive;
Do this, and joy your hearts will swell –
All is well! all is well!
Why should we mourn, or think our lot is hard?
‘Tis not so; all is right!
Why should we think to earn a great reward,
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins, fresh courage take,
Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we’ll have this truth to tell –
All is well! all is well!
Westward, ever westward, every exodus of Truth,
Westward, ever westward, is the exile’s path, forsooth,
Westward thru the wilderness, by the night and by the dawn,
Westward with the pillar and the cloud to lead them on.
Westward, ever westward, every exodus of right,
Westward into banishment, but westward to the light,
Westward on and westward to the distant mountain crest,
O vision of the promised land awaiting in the west.
Neither north or southward, never back or round about,
But thru the Red Sea Wilderness and straightway on and out,
With Gabriel’s trump in every heart and “Westward Ho” their prayer,
The Pioneer is conqueror, the Promised land is there.
This Is the Place
(Musical reading as humming chorus of “Come, Come ye Saints” is again heard ind distance.)
This is the place, my lovely valley home,
Near the great inland Sea,
This is the place where mountains lift their dome,
Guarding me tenderly.
This is the place proclaimed of old,
The place my prophet hath foretold,
Dear land of growth and faith and grace,
This, for me, is the place.
Land of the brave and sainted pioneer,
Safe abode in the west,
Where love and fortitude and faith and cheer,
Make my home safe and blest,
This is the place of Deseret,
My refuge and my anchoret,
Dear land that I must build and grace,
This, for me, Is the place.
(Again full male chorus bursts into song – last two verses.)
We’ll find a place which God for us prepared
Far away, in the West
Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid,
There the Saints will be blessed.
We’ll make the air with music ring,
Shout praises to our God and King.
Above the rest each tongue will tell
All is Well! All is Well1
And should we die before our journey’s through,
Happy day! All is Well!
We then are free from toil and sorrow, too,
With the just we shall dwell!
But if our lives are spared again
To see the Saints their rest obtain,
O, how we’ll make this chorus swell
All is Well! all is Well!
Narrator: The dramatic portrayal you have just heard has been presented under the supervision of George D. Pyper representing the Music committee of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The play featured one of the favorite hymns of the Mormon people, written by William Clayton on the plains, in 1847. The dramatic script was written by Mrs. Bertha A. Kleinman, and directed by Miss Leora Thatcher, teacher of dramatic art at the McCune School of Music and Art. Mrs. Lila Eccles Brimhall was the reader. Music was rendered by the Swanee Singers under the direction of B.F. Pulham. The players are nearly all grandchildren, one a son, of the original pioneers. They are B. Spencer Young, Ernest Kimball, LeRoy Sleater, Steve Love, Horace Pratt Beesley, Alma Clayton, Ezra Woodruff, Helen Spencer Williams, Leora Curtis, Lettie Thatcher; the children Charles Wilford Woodruff and Robert Ketchum. Master Hamer Reiser, Jr., was the bugler.
Next Sunday evening at this same hour, 10 p.m., Mountain Time, we shall present dramatic portrayals of some of the hymns of the late Charles W. Penrose.
So closes another Sunday evening radio service of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.