Monday, February 2, 2015

Certainly Lord (Civil Rights Song Lyrics & Videos)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides lyrics and videos of the civil rights song "Certainly Lord."

This civil rights song is based on the African American Gospel song with the same title, That song is also known as "Have You Got Good Religion". Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/02/have-you-got-good-religion-african.html for a post about that religious song.

The content of this post is presented for cultural and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

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LYRICS: CERTAINLY LORD
Do you want your freedom?
(Certainly, Lord.)
Do you want your freedom?
(Certainly, Lord.)
Do you want your freedom?
(Certainly, Lord.)
Certainly, Certainly, Certainly Lord.

We'll march for our rights.
(Certainly, Lord.)
We'll march for our rights.
(Certainly, Lord.)
We'll march for our rights.
(Certainly, Lord.)
Certainly, Certainly, Certainly, Lord.

We'll go to jail.
(Certainly, Lord.)
We'll go to jail.
(Certainly, Lord.)
We'll go to jail.
(Certainly, Lord.)
Certainly, Certainly, Certainly, Lord.

Jail over bail.*
(Certainly, Lord)
Jail over bail.
(Certainly, Lord.)
Jail over bail.
(Certainly, Lord.)
Certainly, Certainly, Certainly, Lord.

Do you want your freedom?
(Certainly, Lord.)
Do you want your freedom?
(Certainly, Lord.)
Do you want your freedom?
(Certainly, Lord.)
Certainly, Certainly, Certainly Lord
Certainly, certainly, certainly Lord.
Certainly, certainly, certainly Lord.

-snip-
* "Jail over bail" means that the person arrested chooses to remain in jail rather than have his or her bail paid and be released from jail. This strategy draws media attention to the cause being protested.

This is my recollection of this song. It is sung using a call & response pattern. The soloist asks the initial question, the rest the choir or congregation sing "Certainly, Lord", and the soloist and the choir/congregation sing "Certainly, certainly, certainly Lord".

Like other African American Civil Rights songs of the 1960s, the words of this song were changed and can still be changed. Read another version of these lyrics below.

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FEATURED YOUTUBE EXAMPLES

Certainly, Lord - civil rights version

goblinpug, Uploaded on Apr 10, 2010

from Voices Of The Civil Rights Movement Part 2: Ensembles
-snip-
Here is my transcription of those lyrics. Additions and corrections Have you been to the jail? (Certainly Lord) Have you been to the jail? (Certainly Lord) Have you been to the jail? (Certainly Lord) Certainly, Certainly, Certainly Lord
[Sing in the same pattern]
Well, did you do your thirty days?

Well, did you do your time?

Well, would you go back again?

Oh, will you fight for freedom?

Oh, will you tell it to the world?

Oh, will you tell it to the judge?

[after the last verse] Certainly, Certainly, Certainly Lord
Certainly, certainly, certainly Lord.
Certainly, certainly, certainly Lord.

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Oh Freedom (Civil Rights Song Lyrics & Videos)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides lyrics and videos of the civil rights song "Oh Freedom"

The content of this post is presented for cultural and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

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LYRICS: OH FREEDOM [civil rights song]
Oh-o freedom
Oh-o freedom
Oh freedom over me,
(Over me.)
And before I be a slave
I'll be buried in my grave.
And go home to my Lord and be free.
(and be free.)

No segregation
No segregation
No more segregation
Over me
(Over me)
And before I be a slave
I'll be buried in my grave.
And go home to my Lord and be free.
(and be free.)

No more weepin
No more weepin
No more weepin
Over me
(Over me)
And before I be a slave
I'll be buried in my grave.
And go home to my Lord and be free.
(and be free.)

[Continue in that pattern and end with the first verse.]

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FEATURED YOUTUBE EXAMPLES

Example #1: Joan Baez - Oh, Freedom (Live 1966)

ClarenceOlsen1, Uploaded on Dec 9, 2007

Life without freedom is not life.

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Example #2: Oh Freedom!

swflprof, Uploaded on May 2, 2008

A Negro Spiritual with pictures from the Library of Congress and National Archives. I decided on this Spiritual after researching the National Archives for photographs of Slavery. This is a topic I felt should not be ignored, nor exploited, rather remembered lest we repeat history.
-snip-
Since the referent for Black Americans was changed from "Negro" to "African Americans" by at least the early 1970s, I prefer to use the phrase "African American spirituals".

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Example #3: Oh Freedom! - The Golden Gospel Singers (Lyrics in Description)

Mackenzie's YouTube, Published on Dec 12, 2013

One of the best Civil Rights songs
Featured recently in an episode of American Horror Story: Coven
[The lyrics given in the summary are very similar to those given above.]

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"We Shall Not Be Moved" (lyrics, videos, and comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides lyrics and a video of the civil rights song "We Shall Not Be Moved".

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

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LYRICS: WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED (Civil Rights Song)
We shall not, we shall not be moved
(shall not be)
We shall not, we shall not be moved
Just like a tree that's planted by the water,
We shall not be moved.

We're fighting for our rights (and)
We shall not be moved
(Shall not be)
We're fighting for our rights (and)
We shall not be moved
Just like a tree that's planted by the water,
We shall not be moved.

We shall all be free (and)
We shall not be moved
(Shall not be)
We shall all be free (and)
We shall not be moved
Just like a tree that's planted by the water,
We shall not be moved.

God is on our side (and)
We shall not be moved
(Shall not be)
God is on our side (and)
We shall not be moved
Just like a tree that's planted by the water,
We shall not be moved.

Black and White together
We shall not be moved
(Shall not be)
Black and White together
We shall not be moved
Just like a tree that's planted by the water,
We shall not be moved.

We shall not, we shall not be moved
(Shall not be)
We shall not, we shall not be moved
Just like a tree that's planted by the water,
We shall not be moved.
-snip-
This civil rights song is adapted from a union motivational song:
"We shall not, we shall not be moved
We shall not, we shall not be moved
We'll building a mighty union,
We shall not be moved"
-Online source: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/7840/song6.htm

The union song "We Shall Not Be Moved" is adapted from the African American Gospel song "I Shall Not Be Moved".

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FEATURED YOUTUBE EXAMPLES
These examples are posted in chronological order based on their publishing date with the oldest examples presented first

Example #1: Easternnaires and Sis. Walker I Shall Not Be Moved [Gospel]


pkteemax Uploaded on Aug 10, 2008

Easternnaires and Sis. Walker singing I Shall Not Be Moved at end of year concert

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Example #2: Mary Mary "We Shall Not Be Moved" from The Soundtrack For A Revolution [1960s civil rights song]

vicariousmusic, Uploaded on Feb 13, 2012

On February 14th, the soundtrack to the film Soundtrack For a Revolution will be released. It features contemporary artists singing traditional Civil Rights-era freedom songs.

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Example #3: Mavis Staples - We Shall Not Be Moved [union song]

Echoes of a Friend, Published on Mar 31, 2014

Album "We'll Never Turn Back" (2007)

Echoes of a Friend
-snip-
Notice the words in the second verse "The union is behind us".

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Example #4: We Shall Not Be Moved | Tillis 15 [contemporary civil rights protest song]

NC Forward Together Moral Movement Channel Published on May 27, 2014

May 27th, 2014 - After North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis refuses to meet with North Carolinians, a sit-in turns into a church service where the protestors state why, despite being ignored by their Representative, they shall not be moved.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

No More Auction Block (Many Thousands Gone) lyrics & comments

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides lyrics and a video of the post slavery freedom song ".

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

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LYRICS: NO MORE AUCTION BLOCK FOR ME
No more, no more
No more auction block for me
Many thousands gone

No more driver's lash for me
No more, no more
No more driver's lash for me
Many thousands gone

No more pint of salt for me
No more, no more
No more pint of salt for me
Many thousands gone

No more auction block for me
No more, no more
No more auction block for me
Many thousands gone
-snip-
Here's some information about "No More Auction Block" from http://www.expectingrain.com/dok/div/influences.html "According to Bob Dylan, the tune of his song "Blowin' in the Wind" was based loosely on the traditional "No More Auction Blues," found on The Bootleg Series 1-3 (Note 4). The guitar part is certainly very similar, though I had listened to both songs many times without noticing the resemblance. The song, also known as "Many Thousands Gone," originated in Canada, where many blacks fled after Britain abolished slavery there in 1833, 30 years ahead of the United States.

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FEATURED YOUTUBE EXAMPLE

Paul Robeson - No More Auction Block

Nico Fournier, Published on Apr 4, 2014

Classic Folk Music from Smithsonian Folkways
-snip-

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Willie Peacock - Calypso Freedom (Freedom's Comin & It Won't Be Long) lyrics, sound file

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides lyrics and a video of the civil rights song "Calypso Freedom" (also known as "Freedom's Comin & It Won't") as sung by Willie Peacock and group.,p> Note: Another version of this song was recorded by Sweet Honey And The Rock. Click http://www.songsforteaching.com/calypsofreedom.htm for the lyrics to that version.

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

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LYRICS: CALYPSO FREEDOM (as sung by Willie Peacock and group)

[Introduction]
Freedom, give us freedom
Freedom comin and it won’t be long.
Hey!
Freedom, Freedom
Freedom comin and it won’t be long.
Freedom. Freedom
Freedom comin and it won’t be long.

Verse: Well, come Mr. Kennedy take me out of my misery.
Freedom comin and it won’t be long.
Well, can’t you see what segregation’s doin to me.
Freedom comin and it won’t be long.

Chorus 2x
Everybody, Freedom comin and it won’t be long
Well, can’t you see what segregation’s doin to me.
Freedom comin and it won’t be long.

Verse:
Well, come Jackie Kennedy* take me out of my misery
Freedom comin and it won’t be long
Well, JF Kennedy ain’t doin so much for me.
Freedom comin and it won’t be long.

Chorus 1x

Verse:
Hey, I took a little trip on a Greyhound bus**
Yeah!
Freedom comin and it won’t be long.
Well, To fight segregation this we must.
Yeah, Freedom comin and it won’t be long.

Chorus [1x]
Verses [follow the above pattern]
Well, the Jordan river is ah chilly and cold
Well, it chills the body, ah but not the soul be long.

Well, the Jordan river is ah chilly and ah wide
I’m gonna get my freedom on this here side.

Well I ain’t been to heaven but I think I’m right
Well, the people in heaven are neither black or white

Well I ain’t been to heaven but I’ve been told
Well ah up in heaven is no Jim Crow***

Well, you can hinder me here. You can hinder me there.
Well I’ll go right down on my knees in prayer.

Well I never been to heaven but I know I’m right.
Well the folks in heaven they do not fight.

Come Jackie Kennedy* take me out of my misery.
Well JF Kennedy ain’t doin so much for me.

Well Mr. Kennedy take me out of my misery.
Can’t you see what segregation is doing for me.

Took a little trip on the Greyhound bus.
To end segregation this we must.
I want my freedom and I want it now.
Not gonna just stand here and pull the plow. [I'm not sure about my transcription of this line.]


-snip-
Transcription from the recording by Azizi Powell. Additions and corrections are weclome.

For what it's worth, I recall hearing and singing some version of the verses of this song, and its chorus during the 1960s. The purpose of this uptempo Calypso sounding protest song was to help energize and boost the courage and morale of the freedom fighters who are singing that song. This song combines extemporaneously composed two line rhyming verses with floating verses from African American Spirituals, interjections such as "Well!", "Hey!", and "Yeah!", and the adapted refrain from the Jamaican Mento "Banana Boat Song" (also known as "Daylight Comin And I Wanna Go Home".) Notice that one man in this recording mistakenly sings the "and I wanna go home" refrain from the "Banana Boat" song instead of the revised words "and I want it now".

*"Jackie Kennedy" was the wife of then President John F. Kennedy (JFK). Other renditions of this song may have sung "Come Bobby Kennedy". Robert F. Kennedy, widely known as Bobby Kennedy, was the U.S. Attorney General from 1961 to 1964, who served under his older brother, President John F. Kennedy (and after JFK's assasination, also served as Attorney General under JFK's his successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson). And Bobby Kennedy was considered to be a more vocal advocate for civil rights than his brother, JFK.

**As a way of challenging and seeking to change the laws in the South that legalized segregation in public transit, Black people and White people from the Northern region of the United States faced jail, injury, and death by renting Greyhound buses and sitting in an integrated manner on those buses while riding into the Southern states (i.e. a Black person seated next to a White person in the front of the bus and throughout the bus.) These men and women were known as "freedom riders".

*** Jim Crow laws - laws that legalized segregation of White and non-White people (People of Color).

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FEATURED YOUTUBE EXAMPLE

Calypso Freedom - Willie Peacock

Timmy Smith, Published on Apr 3, 2014

Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966

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Sweet Honey In The Rock- Ella’s Song: We Who Believe In Freedom Cannot Rest Until It Comes (lyrics, videos, information)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides lyrics and two videos of the contemporary protest anthemn "Ella’s Song: We Who Believe In Freedom Cannot Rest Until It Comes". Information about Ella Baker, the woman who inspired this song is also included in this post along with information about Sweet Honey In The Rock, whose founding member Bernice Johnson Reagon composed this song.

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Ella Baker for her life's legacy. Thanks also to Bernice Johnson Reagon for composing this song and thanks to the vocal group Sweet Honey In The Rock for performing it. Additional thanks to all those who are quoted in this post, and to the publishers of these featured YouTube videos.

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INFORMATION ABOUT THIS SONG
"Ella’s Song: We Who Believe In Freedom Cannot Rest Until It Comes" is a contemporary protest song that was composed by Bernice Johnson Reagon for the a capella African American heritage vocal group Sweet Honey In the Rock.

Here's a quote from Nan Dillard's review of "Ella Song" on http://ellabakercenter.org/blog/2013/12/ellas-song-we-who-believe-in-freedom-cannot-rest-until-it-comes :
["Ella’s Song: “We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest Until it Comes”] "is an anthem, a meditation on the ultimate lesson of the freedom fight passed down generationally by Ms. Ella herself that is meant to be spoken boldly out loud or under one’s breath as the situation demands to empower both purpose and resolve."

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INFORMATION ABOUT ELLA BAKER
Here's information about Ella Baker, the civil rights activist whose life work inspired this song:
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ella_Baker
"Ella Josephine Baker (December 13, 1903 – December 13, 1986) was an African-American civil rights and human rights activist. She was a largely behind-the-scenes organizer whose career spanned over five decades. She worked alongside some of the most famous civil rights leaders of the 20th century, including W. E. B. Du Bois, Thurgood Marshall, A. Philip Randolph, and Martin Luther King, Jr. She also mentored many emerging activists such as Diane Nash, Stokely Carmichael, Rosa Parks, and Bob Moses. She was a critic of professionalized, charismatic leadership and a promoter of grassroots organizing and radical democracy.[1] She has been called "One of the most important African American leaders of the twentieth century and perhaps the most influential woman in the civil rights movement."

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INFORMATION ABOUT SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK
From http://sweethoneyintherock.org/
"Sweet Honey In The Rock® is a performance ensemble rooted in African American history and culture. The ensemble educates, entertains and empowers its audience and community through the dynamic vehicles of a cappella singing and American Sign Language interpretation for the Deaf and hearing impaired. Sweet Honey’s audience and community comes from diverse backgrounds and cultures throughout the United States and around the world, and includes people of all ages, economic/education/social backgrounds, political persuasions, religious affiliations, sexual preferences and differing abilities."

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LYRICS: ELLA'S SONG
(Composed by Bernice Johnson Reagon)

Refrain:
We who believe in freedom cannot rest
We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes

Verses
Until the killing of Black men, Black mothers’ sons
Is as important as the killing of White men, White mothers’ sons

And that which touches we most is that I had a chance to work with people
Passing on to others that which was passed on to me

To me young people come first, they have the courage where we fail
And if I can shed some light as they carry us through the gale

The older I get the better I know that the secret of my going on
Is when the reins are in the hand of the young who dare to run against the storm

Not needing to clutch for power, not needing the light just to shine on me
I need to be just one in the number as we stand against tyranny

Struggling myself don’t mean a whole lot I come to realize
That teaching others to stand up and fight is the only way my struggle survive

I’m a woman who speaks in a voice and I must be heard
At time I can be quite difficult, I’ll bow to no man’s word
-Source: http://www.bernicejohnsonreagon.com/ella.shtml

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SHOWCASE YOUTUBE VIDEOS

Example #1: Sweet honey in the rock - Ella's Song

Geepereet, Uploaded on Dec 2, 2008

Words won't do so you'll have to listen...........
-snip-
Here's a comment from this video's discussion thread:
Reverend Anita, November 2014
"This is the song and the words I needed to hear tonight, with the news that Michael Brown's killer would not be indicted. it can so easy to feel overcome with fatigue. We need each other to keep up the work in the face of each disappointment."

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Example #2: Ella's Song [photo collage]

Shannon Kane, Published on Oct 3, 2013

Performed by Sweet Honey In The Rock

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Monday, December 1, 2014

"Marching ‘Round Selma" & "We're Marching On To Freedom Land" (civil rights song)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides lyrics of the civil rights song "Marching ‘Round Selma".

This post also features a video about the subject of that song - the March 1965 civil rights demonstration from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, the capitol of the state of Alabama. A short clip of the song "We're Marching On To Freedom Land" is included in that video. My transcription of that song is also included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

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LYRICS: MARCHING 'ROUND SELMA
Marching ‘round Selma like Jericho,
Jericho, Jericho
Marching ‘round Selma like Jericho
For segregation wall must fall

Look at people answering
To the Freedom Fighters call
Black, Brown and White American say
Segregation must fall

Good evening freedom’s fighters
Tell me where you’re bound
Tell me where you’re marching
“From Selma to Montgomery town

Source: http://www.negrospirituals.com/song.htm
-snip-
I changed the spelling of the group referent "Negro" to capital "N". "Negro" is no longer used as the group referent for African Americans. Since the early 1960s, spelling "Negro" with a lower case "n" is considered highly inappropriate, unless you are purposely referring to a person as acting in a subservient "Uncle Tom" manner.

Here's a note about this song from the Negro Spirituals website:
"Sometimes the words of traditional Negro spirituals were slightly changed and adapted to special events. For example, the words of “Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho (and the walls came tumbling down)” were changed into “Marching ‘round Selma”. "
-snip-
People who sang civil rights songs commonly referred to them as "freedom songs". "Freedom fighters" waas a commonly used referents in the 1960s for civil rights marchers.In civil rights songs the phrase "freedom land" refers to the United States, but a United States in which everyone has is equal rights and justice under the law.

"Demonstrators" was a commonly used term for 1960s civil rights protest marches and rallies. For that reason, the word "demonstrators" was used as a referent for the participants n thos marches and rallies. I don't think that the terms "freedom fighters", "demonstrators", and "demonstrations" have been used as referents for participants in marches and rallies since at least the 1970s. Instead, the term "protestors" is commonly used. Although some people may consider that term to have negative connotations, free speech and peacefully assembling to protestgrievances is part of Americans' constitutional rights.

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FEATURED YOUTUBE VIDEO: Selma to Montgomery March

RobertHJacksonCenter, Published on Mar 9, 2013

Vignettes from "Eyes On the Prize" relating to the March 7-21, 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches.
-snip-
Here's my transcription of the song "We're Marching On To Freedom Land" (heard beginning at 4:18 through to the end of that video)

WE'RE MARCHING TO FREEDOM LAND
We're marching on to freedom land.
We're marching on to freedom land.
{We] Got our strength from day to day.
As we travel on the narrow way.
We're going forward.
We're going forward.
. One day we're gonna be free!
-snip-
"We're Marching On To Freedom Land" may be an adaptation of the Gospel song "We're Marching To Zion", although the tune for those two songs aren't quite the same, and their lyric structures are different. The phrase "the narrow way" is found in Spirituals and Gospel song and refers to the difficulties that a person faces if he or she is determined to go to heaven. In this civil rights song, "the narrow way" means the difficulties people face who are working to get "freedom for all".

For what it's worth, I've never heard the song "Marching 'Round Selma" sung. And this is the first time that I've heard the song "We're Marching On To Freedom Land". That said, the relatively well known civil rights song "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round" includes the very similar line "marching up to freedom land".

I haven't heard the song "Marching 'Round Selma". I wonder if the tune of that song and the tune for "We're Marching tTo Freedom Land" are the same or similar.

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