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Updated 05/19/2017


The Strife is O'er, the Battle Done

Giovanni Palestrina
The melody for The Strife is O’er, the Battle Done (Victory) is the resurrection of the Gloria melody from the Mag­nif­i­cat Ter­tii To­ni by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.  Palestrina (c. 1525 – February 1594) was an Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music and the best-known 16th-century representative of the Roman School of musical composition.  He had a lasting influence on the development of church music.  Palestrina left hundreds of compositions, including 105 masses, 68 offertories, at least 140 madrigals and more than 300 motets. In addition, there are at least 72 hymns, 35 magnificats, 11 litanies, and four or five sets of lamentations.  One of the hallmarks of Palestrina's music is that dissonances are typically relegated to the "weak" beats in a measure.  This produced a smoother and more consonant type of polyphony which is now considered to be definitive of late Renaissance music.

The lyrics are by an un­known au­thor, poss­ib­ly 12th Cen­tu­ry (Fi­ni­ta jam sunt prael­ia); trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Fran­cis Pott, and published in the Hymns Fit­ted to the Or­der of Com­mon Pray­er, 1861.  Pott (1831-1909) was educated at Brasenose, College, Oxford, B.A. 1854; M.A. 1857. Taking Holy Orders in 1856 he was curate of Bishopsworth, Gloucestershire, 1856-8; Ardingly, Berks, 1858-61; Ticehurst, Sussex, 1861-66; and Rector of Norhill, Ely, 1866.


Lyrics translated by Francis Pott

  The strife is o’er, the battle done;
The victory of life is won;
The song of triumph has begun: Alleluia!


Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

The powers of death have done their worst;
But Christ their legions hath dispersed;
Let shouts of holy joy outburst: Alleluia!


The three sad days are quickly sped;
He rises glorious from the dead;
All glory to our risen Head! Alleluia!


He closed the yawning gates of hell;
The bars from heaven’s high portals fell;
Let hymns of praise His triumphs tell! Alleluia!


Lord, by the stripes which wounded Thee,
From death’s dread sting Thy servants free,
That we may live, and sing to Thee: Alleluia!