"David's Lamentation" is a work for four-part chorus by William Billings. Written in 1778,[1] it sets a text drawn from the story of King David's response to the slaying of his rebellious son Absalom. First published in Billing's Singing Master's Assistant, the song was included in the Sacred Harp, spreading Billings' music beyond his native New England into the American South.[2]

The Virginia Glee Club performed "David's Lamentation" during the Glee Club 1992-1993 season as part of a set of alternate settings of the text, including Josquin Des Pres's "Absalon, Fili Mi," Thomas Tomkins's "When David Heard," and a commissioned setting of "When David Heard" by Benjamin Broening. It is included on the 1993 recording Music for a Noble Acoustic. The Glee Club's performance, directed by John Liepold, recasts the SATB harmony as TTBB close harmony, with the soprano and alto parts sung an octave down.


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.