To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin.
Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.
Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.
Onward, Christian soldiers! Marching as to war, With the Cross of Jesus Going on before. Christ the royal Master Leads against the foe; Forward into battle, See, his banners go!
At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee; On then, Christian soldiers, On to victory! Hell’s foundations quiver At the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, Loud your anthems raise.
Onward, then, ye people, Join our happy throng; Blend with ours your voices In the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honour Unto Christ the King; This through countless ages Men and angels sing.
Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924)
Sabine Baring-Gould was in turn schoolmaster, clergyman in parishes in Yorkshire and Essex, and then that forgotten creature the ‘Squarson’, having inherited the family estate of Lew Trenchard in Devon and appointed himself, as was the tradition, to be Rector of the parish. In a very long life he displayed a vast range of interests and wrote a huge number of books, with, it is said, a longer list of books to his name in the British Museum catalogue than any other author. He was responsible for introducing us to some delightful Basque Carols, and he did important work in collecting English folk songs.
His best known hymns were written early in his ministry. In 1864, when he was curate of the parish of Horbury Bridge, Yorkshire, Sabine Baring-Gould wrote this hymn for a Whit-Monday children’s procession. It was published in 1864 entitled ‘Hymn for Procession with Cross and Banners’. Some object to it as militaristic, but the image of the Christian as a soldier, needing to observe the discipline and to wear the armour, comes from the New Testament, and for much of its history the Church of England has prayed ‘for the whole state of Christ’s Church militant here in earth.’ There are valuable insights to be gained from looking on the Christian life as a fight against evil, though it is not the whole story. This interpretation of the idea is certainly over confident.
It was originally sung to other tunes, but in 1871, while staying with Mrs Gertrude Clay-Ker-Seymour, Arthur Sullivan composed this tune, St Gertrude’, which has become firmly associated with the words. Especially in the chorus it has the strong tread of a military march and expresses the words admirably.