Yeah, I know: everyone calls this song, “The Army of Helaman.” Sorry, but that is not actually its title. The original name, according to Janice Kapp Perry, the composer and lyricist, is “We’ll Bring the World His Truth.” So many people called it “The Army of Helaman,” that the LDS Church, which is extremely careful about such things, had to append the alternate title, to avoid confusion. So did I.
Another shocker: the copyright date is 1983. The song is barely thirty years old. I thought it had been around forever. Instead, I find the original copyright date is still valid. It is NOT in the public domain. The Church website states,
© 1983 by Janice Kapp Perry. This song may be copied for incidental, noncommercial church or home use. Official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. © 2010 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
I would normally conclude from the double copyright that the Church had purchased limited rights from Sister Perry. However, Sister Perry’s own website has not responded to my request for reprint permission. I have waited months for a meaningful reply, and have received only spam. I conclude: either she does not care if I publish this song, or she no longer owns the rights. Nevertheless, I have removed the lyrics from the tab, which is my own work as the arranger. The lyrics are readily available HERE. Write them in if you wish. They are not needed for a strictly instrumental arrangement such as this.
I have recast the time signature from 3/4 to 6/8, for simplicity. Nearly all the notes come out eighth notes, which is fine for guitar, and it’s much less confusing visually. I didn’t even have to transpose, as it was originally written in C. I did slow it down just a bit, from 116 quarter notes per minute to 100. Remember this when counting: TWO counts = ONE beat.
There are a few unusual (but easy) chords, and a few difficult barre chords. Before you panic, I have tried to leave plenty of time for chord changes. The hard chords make this piece more suitable for intermediate guitarists than for beginners, despite its simple sound. If you play through it, you may find it’s more sophisticated than it seems.
The first two measures are just arpeggios, and are only played once, as an introduction. The verses start with measure , where the melody begins. The melody is carried in the bass in this measure, with the rhythm in the treble, just the opposite of the usual arrangement.
Measure  is a treble pluck, followed by a rising arpeggio and ending with a descending note, a pattern repeated often in this song. Measure  abandons the pattern-picking, for a series of descending pinches. The rhythm is off the beat, but is carried in the bass.
There’s a bit of a tricky pull-off in measure . The trick is pushing the finger off the string (toward the top of the guitar) instead of pulling it, which would be well nigh impossible to accomplish while holding the FI chord. It’s easy if you push it off, though this may seem a little odd, if you’re not used to the technique.
Measures  and  are the same as  and . Measure  is nearly identical to , except that the first pinch of the measure is replaced by a full, strummed chord, and the rhythm is carried on the bass E string, instead of the A string.
Measures  and  end with a quarter note, or you can substitute an eighth note and a rest if you are having trouble sustaining these notes. You fret this note with your left pinkie. If you are not used to fretting bass strings with your pinkie, you may well have such trouble.
The next measure,  is the last measure of the verse, and is unique in several ways. First, there’s a tempo change to 8/8, just for this one measure. Also, it is contains multiple hammer-ons. Do not omit them. The phrase needs to be played with extreme fluidity. Remember, this eight-note measure should take no longer to play than the six-note measures that precede and follow it. A little practice should suffice; it’s not as hard as it looks. Do not hesitate, but go right into the next measure  without a break. I can’t stress this enough: fluidity and perfect timing here will make the song; variation in timing or hesitation will sound terribly amateurish to the audience. Practice playing measures  through  until you can’t muff them. Your audience will forgive a bobble in any other part of this song, but not here.
Measure  begins the chorus. Play the FI chord and then slide up the neck of the guitar to the III space while lifting the left pinkie off the string to make a very fast change to G7III. In measure , on the final pinch of the measure, you’ll need to add the F note on the 4th string with the left pinkie. Don’t forget it; it’s the melody note! Then, in , you have another one of those push-offs. If you’ll fret the final note of the measure (G on the 6th string) with your left pinkie again, it’ll position your left hand automatically for the FI chord that begins .
Measures  and  are played almost exactly like  and . The only difference is in the final note of . This is a melody note AND a transition to Dm7V. DON’T play it exactly the same as ! Measure  has another one of those push-offs. You can do this one as a pull-off if you wish, I just find it easier to push. Hammer on the F note on the 4th string, then lift the entire left hand from the strings as you do the pull-off or push-off to D (open). End the chorus with a C chord strum and go right into the next verse, starting with measure .
Since this is an instrumental solo, you don’t have to play all three verses. Or, if you wish, you can add additional ones. But on the final verse, skip directly from verse  to verse , play the Finale through ONCE, and stop. This finale is not part of the song as published in The Children’s Songbook. But I hope you’ll like it.
Measures  and  nearly reprise  and , with a couple of differences: the initial, two-note pinch in  becomes a three-note pinched chord in , and a G note is added on the open 3rd string at the end of . This note is important, as it provides a transition to the following musical phrase comprising  through the initial chord of . This phrase is the melody associated with the words, “to bring the world His truth,” and is repeated twice more. Note that the chords do not match those used in other parts of the song to accompany the same words, though the effect is similar. In measure , the G7* chord can be fretted by barring the 4th, 5th, and 6th strings with the index finger, bending it slightly backwards so as not to buzz on the 2nd string, which is played open. If, like me, your index finger does not bend backward, you’ll have to fret the 4th and 6th strings with the index and middle finger as shown in the chord charts.
The FV and GVII chords in measures  and  are not terribly hard to play as written. They normally would be played as five-string chords, which are difficult to play. As shown in the tab, you only have to bar the first three strings, but I recommend barring all six strings anyway if you can, as this greatly simplifies the transition to CVIII in the next measure.
Possibly the most technically difficult part of the song occurs right at the end, when you have to fret the 3rd string in the 10th space with the left pinkie, then slide it down to the 7th fret. Then, without a break, lift the fingers off the strings and continue along the guitar neck to the C chord in the first position. Try to do it all in one motion. Sustain the C chord as long as you can, and take your bows.
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