Music was an important part of early humane education, and children were frequently taught songs with compassionate themes and messages in the classroom, at Sunday school, or at Band of Mercy meetings.

Below are 5 songs from a book compiled in 1897 by Sarah J. Eddy called Songs of Happy Life: For Schools, Homes and Bands of Mercy.

Exploring the Objects in This Section

  • To hear the songs, click on the links below (select MP4 or MP3 depending on your browser’s settings). The audio file will open in a new window. Use your browser’s back button to return to this page.

Be Kind To Living Things (MP4)

Be Kind To Living Things (MP3)

  • Words by M.A. Kidder, music by Hattie M. Vose. This version recorded in 2011 by Thompson Bishop.

A Cry For Liberty (MP4)

A Cry For Liberty (MP3)

  • Words by Anon, music by M.W. Seeley. This version recorded in 2011 by Thompson Bishop.

The Grey Kitten (MP4)

The Grey Kitten (MP3)

  • Words by Jane Campbell, music by Konradin Kreutzer. This version recorded in 2011 by Thompson Bishop.

Ring the Bells of Mercy (MP4)

Ring the Bells of Mercy (MP3)

  • Tune: “Ring the Bells of Heaven.” This version recorded in 2011 by Thompson Bishop.

The Caged Birds Lament (MP4)

The Caged Birds Lament (MP3)

  • Words from the “Animal World.” This version recorded in 2011 by Thompson Bishop.

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  1. Yolanda says:

    The songs tell a story that my students were able to connect with, I am playing with some thought in my head of extending connection of the music and the visual

  2. Debra Flores says:

    I think the only song a prek child would like is The Grey Kitten. The other songs sound so sad. The lyrics of all the other songs send a humane message but too sad and depressing music.

  3. Laurice Bray says:

    I loved these beautiful, moving songs that children were taught so many years ago. The messages in them ring true even now! Thank you for including them in this exhibit.


  1. […] and visual culture that were so crucial to this movement, to take a moment and listen to some 19th century Band of Mercy songs and, to learn about the courageous men and women who so firmly believed in the power of Humane […]

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