Actually, it's easy, if you can do the barre chords. Much as I hate to split measures between two lines, I've done so on every line, as that's the way it's written in the hymnal. About the only changes I've made from the hymnal have to do with the tempo. If you try playing this as a guitar solo at the speed called for in the hymnal, it will really drag, so I've specified a much faster beat. I've also recast it in 4/4 instead of 2/2. The difference is almost imperceptible, and I find it easier to count "1-2-3-4" than "1-&-2-&". If you want to be perfectly faithful to the original, emphasize the #3 beat, so it's equal to the #1. That's the only difference.
In some ways, this song is easier than the "beginner" version in G, as there are no minor chords, and all the transitions are straightforward, if you are comfortable with barre chords. The only remotely difficult transitions are in the 5th - 6th measures and 9th - 10th measures, where you have to slide the whole GIII chord down to GbII to catch the F# on the first string with the index finger, then back again immediately to GIII for the chord. This may seem a bit odd to you, but it's one of the things barre chords were invented for.
High on the Mountain Top is in the public domain. The patriotic lyrics were taken from a poem by Joel Hills Johnson. Click HERE for the story of how this poem came to be written, including the fifth and sixth verses, which do not appear in the hymnal.
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