Sunday, November 30, 2014

I'm On My Way (civil rights song)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides lyrics and a video of the civil rights song " This post also provides information about the African American Spiritual that was adapted to create that song.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

EDITOR'S NOTE ABOUT ADDING COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG
With considerable regret, I have disabled the comment feature on this blog (and on my other blogs except for https://pancocojams.blogspot.com, because of the large number of spam comments that I received on those blogs.

Comments for those blogs can be sent to my email address azizip17 dot com at yahoo dot com for possible inclusion in a specific post on those blogs.


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LYRICS: I'M ON MY WAY
I'm on my way to the freedom land
I'm on my way to the freedom land
I'm on my way to the freedom land
I'm on my way, praise God
I'm on my way.

I asked my brother to come with me
I asked my brother to come with me
I asked my brother to come with me
I'm on my way, praise God
I'm on my way.

I asked my sister to come with me
I asked my sister to come with me
I asked my sister to come with me
I'm on my way, praise God
I'm on my way.
If they say no, I'll go alone
If they say no, I'll go alone
If they say no, I'll go alone
I'm on my way, praise God
I'm on my way.
I'm on my way, and I won't turn back
I'm on my way, and I won't turn back
I'm on my way, and I won't turn back
I'm on my way, praise God
I'm on my way.
Source: http://www.songsforteaching.com/billharley/imonmyway.htm
-snip-
The civil rights song "I'm On My Way" is an adaptation of the African American Spiritual "I'm On My Way To Canaan Land" (also known as "I'm On My Way To The Kingdom Land" and "I'm Bound For The Promised Land.) Note that there are several Spirituals and other religious songs with the title "I'm On My Way To Canaan Land" or "Bound To Canaan" or similar title. "Canaan", "the Promised Land", and "the Kingdom land" were references to heaven. Some of the versions of those Spirituals had the same or nearly the same words that are used for the civil rights song. Only the meanings of those words are different. In the civil rights song, "freedom land" meant a land where everyone had equal rights under the law. Click http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=62684 "Lyr Req: I'm on my way to the kingdom land" for examples of lyrics for that Spiritual.

I quoted this comment about the United States civil rights movement of the 1960s in that same Mudcat thread:
"I'm On My Way
The Civil Rights movement in 1960s was the singingest movement in American history. Old African American spirituals like, “I Will Overcome,” “I'm On My Way to Canaan Land” and dozens of others were adapted by marchers and demonstrators throughout the South and across the nation. By design, the repetitive nature and “call back” structure of a spiritual make it ideal for improvised group singing."
From Sing for Freedom, (edited and compiled by Guy and Candie Carawan; Sing Out! Publications). I posted that quote in this Mudcat [folk music] forum discussion thread: http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=62684. The link to the online source for that book's quote is no longer viable.

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SHOWCASE SOUND FILE: Mahalia Jackson - I'm On My Way [Spiritual]

The WORD is ALIVE Hebrews 4:12Uploaded on Aug 17, 2008

Mahalia Jackson - I'm On My Way
***I LOVE THE RHYTHM AND THE SOULFULNESS OF THIS SONG, I COULD SEE HER SINGING THIS DIRECTLY TO ME, I'M ON MY WAY!!!!!!!!!!

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Viewer comments are welcome.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I'm Gonna Sit At The Welcome Table (civil rights song)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides lyrics and videos of the civil rights song "I'm Gonna Sit At The Welcome Table". Information about this song's composition and its meaning are also provided in this post.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

EDITOR'S NOTE ABOUT ADDING COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG
With considerable regret, I have disabled the comment feature on this blog (and on my other blogs except for https://pancocojams.blogspot.com, because of the large number of spam comments that I received on those blogs.

Comments for those blogs can be sent to my email address azizip17 dot com at yahoo dot com for possible inclusion in a specific post on those blogs.


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LYRICS: I'M GONNA SIT AT THE WELCOME TABLE
(civil rights version)

I'm gonna sit at the welcome table,*
I'm gonna sit at the welcome table one of these days, Hallelujah!
I'm gonna sit at the welcome table,
I'm gonna sit at the welcome table one of these days.

I'm gonna walk the streets of glory,
I'm gonna walk the streets of glory one of these days,
Hallelujah!
I'm gonna walk the streets of glory,
I'm gonna walk the streets of glory one of these days.

I'm gonna get my civil rights,
I'm gonna get my civil rights one of these days, Hallelujah!
I'm gonna get my civil rights,
I'm gonna get my civil rights one of these days.

I'm gonna sit at the Woolworth counter,**
I'm gonna sit at the Woolworth counter one of these days, Hallelujah!
I'm gonna sit at the Woolworth counter,
I'm gonna sit at the Woolworth counter one of these days.
-snip-
This song is an adaptation of the African American Spiritual/Gospel with the same title.
*In the Spiritual "The Welcome Table" refers to being in Heaven. In civil rights songs, "welcome table" alludes to the sit-in protests at lunch counters in public facilities where Black people were refused service.
**"Woolwoth" was (is?) a public facility which refused to serve Black people.

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THIS SONG'S SOURCE AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THIS SONG

According to http://www.ed.uiuc.edu/courses/ci407ss/welcometable.html, this song was part of a play written by the students of the McComb, Mississippi, Freedom School in 1964.

Click http://www.ed.uiuc.edu/courses/ci407ss/freedomschools.html for information about freedom schools. Two other sources for information about this song are http://www.smithsonianglobalsound.org/trackdetail.aspx?itemid=17322 "The Nashville Sit-in Story: Songs and Scenes of Nashville Lunch Counter Desegregation (by the Sit-In Participants)" and http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=93754&messages=21 "Origins: Gospel song 'The Welcome Table'"

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FEATURED VIDEOS
The Welcome Table

Mobilecheese, Uploaded on Feb 7, 2010

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"Welcome Table" from the Old Town School Songbook, Vol 4

Uploaded by oldtownschool on Oct 18, 2007

Another sneak look & listen to one of the songs on the Old Town School of Folk Music Songbook, Volume 4 CD. It's Old Town School instructors Bill Brickey and Sue Demel (also of the famous Sons of the Never Wrong) going for a jazz/gospel version of "The Welcome Table". And they knock it out of the park. The version on the CD is slightly different from what you hear here...good chance to play "Spot The Audio Edit". - Bob Medich

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If You Miss Me At The Back Of The Bus (civil rights song)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides lyrics and a video of the civil rights song "If You Miss Me At The Back Of The Bus".

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

EDITOR'S NOTE ABOUT ADDING COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG
With considerable regret, I have disabled the comment feature on this blog (and on my other blogs except for https://pancocojams.blogspot.com, because of the large number of spam comments that I received on those blogs.

Comments for those blogs can be sent to my email address azizip17 dot com at yahoo dot com for possible inclusion in a specific post on those blogs.

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COMMENTS ABOUT THIS SONG
Unlike most of the songs that were sung during the African American civil rights movement of the 1960s, the words to "If You Miss Me At The Back Of The Bus" wasn't adapted from a Spiritual -although its tune was. Also, unlike most of civil rights songs, "If You Miss Me At The Back Of The Bus" has a known composer. That song was composed by Charles Neblett (aka Seku Neblett). Although there's a known composer of this song, all of the lyrics to the song aren't fixed. As is true of other civil rights songs, other verses can be added or substituted to fit the issue or cause being protested or to illustrate the singer's resolve to protest.

The verse about being missed at the back of the bus refers to the Jim Crow law that required Black people to sit in the back of public buses, and even to relinquish those seats if any White person came on the bus and would otherwise be without a seat. The words to this song indicated that the singer was challenging that law and other discriminatory laws mentioned, such as Black people being unable to swim in public pools with non-Black people.

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LYRICS: IF YOU MISS ME FROM THE BACK OF THE BUS
(adapted from the song composed by Charles Neblett of the Freedom Singers to the tune of "O Mary Don't You Weep.")

If you miss me at the back of the bus
If you can't find me back there
Come on up to the front of the bus
I'll be sittin right there
I'll be sittin right there
Come on up to the front of the bus
I'll be sittin right there

If you can't find me in the school room
If you can't find me in there
Come on out to the picket line*
I'll be standin right there
I'll be standin right there
Come on out to the picket line
I'll be standin right there

If you can't find me in the picket line
If you can't find me out there
Come on down to the jail house
I'll be singin in there
I'll be singin in there
Come on down to the jail house
I'll be singin in there

If you can't find me in jail house
If you don't see me in there
Come on over to the church yard
I'll be prayin out there
I'll be prayin out there
Come on over to the church yard
I'll be prayin out there.
-snip-
*picket line = the demonstrations (protest marches)

Here are some additional verses from the 1963 book Sing Out! , a publication of civil rights songs edited by Guy and Candie Carawan, published by Oak Publications; New York ; p. 50; {Library of Congress Number 63-23278}:

If you miss me from the front of the bus,
and you can't find me nowhere,
Come on up to the driver's seat,*
I'll be driving up there. etc.

If you miss me from Jackson State,**
and you can't find me no where
Come on over to Ole Miss,
I'll be studyin' over there. etc.

If you miss me from knockin' on doors***
and you can't find me nowhere
Come on down to the registrar's room,
I'll be the registrar there. ect.

If you miss me from the cotton field,
and you can't find me nowhere.
Come on down to the court house,
I'll be voting right there. etc

If you miss me from the picket line,
and you can't find me nowhere.
Come on down to the jail house,
I'll be rooming down there. etc.

If you miss me from the Mississippi River
and you can't find me nowhere
Come on down to the city pool
I'll be swimming in there. etc.
-snip-
* Come on up to the driver's seat = Protests included quality jobs such as bus drivers for African Americans
** Jackson State- a historically Black university; "Ole Miss" a nickname for the University of Mississippi, which at that time did not accept Black students.
*** knockin' on doors - to register Black people to vote

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COMMENTS FROM THE COMPOSER'S BROTHER AND FROM THE COMPOSER HIMSELF
From http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=36629&messages=101#2095880 "Back of the Bus" songs"
"If you miss me at the back of the bus" was composed and copywrited by Carver Neblett, aka, Seku Neblett . The original title was "If you miss me in the Mississippi River and you can't find me nowhere, come on down to the swimming pool and I'll be swimming down there". The song was written during a trial sourounding protest at the public swimming pool in Cairo, Illinois. The brother of one of the defendants drowned in the river because the public pool did not admit people of African decent. As the song spread throught the south, the people changed the the song into, "If you miss me at the back of the bus". Thank you, Seku Neblett, Charles Neblett's brother. -
-snip-
Comment from that same Mudcat post: "I am very much alive and still struggling for "The Liberation, and Unification of Africa and all of her scattered and suffering People and for the forward progress of the human family. Thank you," http://www.youtube.com/nkrumahseku" [Seku Neblett aka Carver Neblett aka Chico Ne]

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SHOWCASE VIDEOS If You Miss Me from the Back of the Bus (SNCC Freedom Singers)

Joe Germuska, Uploaded on Jan 19, 2008 From a performance on 10 Nov 2007 at Woodson Regional Library, Chicago, IL

Presented by Chicago Area Friends of SNCC and the SNCC History Project
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SNCC= Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, a civil rights organizations whose members were mostly young adults.

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If You Miss Me From The Back Of The Bus

Posted by SongsOfFreedomKids, January 18, 2008

Kids in 2008 learning about and singing the classic song from the US Civil Rights Movement. "If You Miss Me from the Back of the Bus" was written by Charles Neblett of the Freedom Singers to the tune of "O Mary Don't You Weep."

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Hold On (Keep Your Eyes On The Prize) civil rights song

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides lyrics and a video of the civil rights song " This post also provides information about the Spirtual which was slightly adapted and sung during the American civil rights movement of the 1960s.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

EDITOR'S NOTE ABOUT ADDING COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG
With considerable regret, I have disabled the comment feature on this blog (and on my other blogs except for https://pancocojams.blogspot.com, because of the large number of spam comments that I received on those blogs.

Comments for those blogs can be sent to my email address azizip17 dot com at yahoo dot com for possible inclusion in a specific post on those blogs.


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LYRICS: HOLD ON [Civil Rights versions)
Paul and Silas bound in jail
with no money to forgo their bail
Keep your eye on the prize
and hold on, hold on

Chorus:
Hold on
Hold on
Keep your eye on the prize
And hold on, hold on.

If religion was a thing that money could buy

The rich would live and the poor would die
Keep your eye on the prize
And hold on, hold on.

Chorus

One and one that makes two
Tell you what I'm-ma gonna do
Keep my eye on the prize
And hold on, hold on.

Chorus

Know the one thing we did wrong
Stayed in the wilderness far too long
Know the first thing we did right
Was the day we started to fight
Keep your eye on the prize hold on, hold on

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COMMENTS ABOUT THESE LYRICS
The African American civil rights song "Hold On" is a slight adaptation of the African American Spiritual "Keep Your Hand On The Plow"), also known as "Hold On". Instead of "Keep your eye on the prize", the Spiritual's lyrics are "Keep your hand on the plow". "Keep your hand on the plow" and "keep your eye on the prize" both mean to remain steadfast in your determination. The words of that Spiritual referred to those who were determined to live a Christian life. When almost the same words were sung in the civil rights protest movement, they referred to being resolved to continue that protest inspite of the possibility or the probability of very serious consequences.

As is true of other civil rights songs, all the words to this song aren't fixed.

Thanks to Mama Kemba for sending in the third verse to this song to my cocojams.com website on 2/26/2008. Thanks, also, to bill allen for sending a message on 4/24/2009 to that website which noted that "Keep Your Eye On The Prize" is an urban version of the rural (farm or plantation) song "Hold On". bill allen also included these verses in his message:
1. When you plow, don't lose your track, Can't plow straight and keep a-lookin' back.
Keep your hand on that plow, hold on (Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on.)

2. Wanna getta heav'n?, I'll tell you how, Keep your hand right on that plow. (Keep your eyes...)

3. When I thought I was lost, Dungeon shook and the chains fell off. (Keep your eyes...)

4. Got my hands on the gospel plow, Wouldn't take nothin' for my journey now. (Keep your eyes...)

5. The only chain we can stand, Is the chain of hand in hand (Keep your eyes...)

-snip-
Visit this Mudcat Discussion Forum thread about the song "Keep your eyes on the prize": http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?ThreadID=4136

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SHOWCASE EXAMPLES OF "KEEP YOUR HAND ON THE PLOW

Mahalia Jackson - Keep Your Hand on the Plow

BrendudeUploaded on Jan 6, 2010

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Odetta at Carnegie Hall - Hold on (gospel plow)

Uploaded by wecms on Feb 27, 2012

Hold on (the gospel plow) was recorded in Odetta live concert at Carnegie Hall on April 8, 1960 featured support from Bill Lee on string bass. ( Lee -- father of Spike Lee)

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Free At Last (Line From This Spiritual in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's I Have A Dream Speech)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides lyrics and a video of the African American Spiritual "Free At Last". Although "Free At Last" may not actually be a civil rights song, its use of the word "freedom" means that it probably was sung by civil rights demonstrators. Also, a line from that Spiritual was quoted at the end of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.' now famous "I Have A Dream speech during the 1963 March on Washington.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

EDITOR'S NOTE ABOUT ADDING COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG
With considerable regret, I have disabled the comment feature on this blog (and on my other blogs except for https://pancocojams.blogspot.com, because of the large number of spam comments that I received on those blogs.

Comments for those blogs can be sent to my email address azizip17 dot com at yahoo dot com for possible inclusion in a specific post on those blogs.


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LYRICS: FREE AT LAST
(composer unknown)

Chorus:
Free at last. Free at last
I thank God I'm free at last
Free at last- free at last
I thank God I'm free at last!

Way down yonder in the graveyard walk,
(I thank God I'm free at last)
Me an' my Jesus gonna meet and talk.
(I thank God I'm free at last)

Free at last. Free at last
Oh, I thank God I'm free at last!

On my knees when the light passed by
(I thank God I'm free at last)
Thought my soul would rise and fly
I thank God I'm free at last.

Free at last. Free at last
I thank God I'm free at last!

Some of these mornings, bright and fair
I thank God I'm free at last
Gonna meet King Jesus in the air
I thank God I'm free at last.

Free at last. Free at last
I thank God I'm free at last.

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FEATURED VIDEOS

Free at last, free at last, thank god almighty we are free at last . billyphilly14, Published on Dec 14, 2012

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Blind Boys Of Alabama's new video 'Free at Last'>[?

TheGigante, Uploaded on Dec 18, 2007

They may be from Alabama but they've been spending time in the Crescent City. Four-time Grammy winners The Blind Boys of Alabama's new album'Down In New Orleans,' their first in three years, will be released January 29, 2008 on the Time Life Music label. Recording for the first time in New Orleans, The Blind Boys are backed here by a trio of world-class New Orleans musicians: David Torkanowsky (piano), Roland Guerin (bass) and Shannon Powell (drums). Other guests include legendary pianist/producer and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Allen Toussaint, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and the horn-heavy Hot 8 Brass Band, one of the city's most vital young acts. But the band's deeply soulful and natural voices remain in the spotlight on 'Down In Orleans.' After performing together for over six decades, The Blind Boys of Alabama have enjoyed one of the more striking comebacks in recent memory. Their last several albums have earned these hipster septuagenarians the best reviews and record sales of their career, four Grammy Awards in a four year span, and a completely new, contemporary audience

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Do You Want Your Freedom ?(Certainly Lord) civil rights song

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides lyrics for the civil rights song "Do You Want Your Freedom? (Certainly Lord)". This post also provides information about the African American Spiritual which was adapted to create this civil right song.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

EDITOR'S NOTE ABOUT ADDING COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG
With considerable regret, I have disabled the comment feature on this blog (and on my other blogs except for https://pancocojams.blogspot.com, because of the large number of spam comments that I received on those blogs.

Comments for those blogs can be sent to my email address azizip17 dot com at yahoo dot com for possible inclusion in a specific post on those blogs.


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LYRICS: DO YOU WANT YOUR FREEDOM (CERTAINLY LORD)
Leader - Do you want your freedom?
Group - (Certainly, Lord.)
Do you want your freedom?
(Certainly, Lord.)
Do you want your freedom?
(Certainly, Lord.)
All: 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.

Continue in this pattern with the last verse being:
Leader - Do you want your freedom?
Group - Certainly, Lord.
Do you want your freedom?
(Certainly, Lord.)
Do you want your freedom?
(Certainly, Lord.)
All- Certainly, Certainly, Certainly Lord
Certainly, certainly, certainly Lord.
Certainly, certainly, certainly Lord
-snip-
This is just one version of this civil rights song. Like other African American civil rights songs of the 1960s, the words of this song were changed (and can still be changed) to fit the particular issue or cause being protested.

The parenthesis indicate that the song could be sung in a call & response manner, with the soloist asking the initial question, the rest the choir or congregation singing "Certainly, Lord", and the soloist and the choir/congregation singing "Certainly, certainly, certainly Lord". However, my recollection is that "Do You Want Your Freedom (Certainly, Lord") was actually sung in unison and not as a call & response song. That meant that the lyrics to the song and the order of the song was fixed (unchanging) for that group's or choir's rendition of that song.

In my experience, the civil rights version of this song has a moderately fast tempo, and that tempo is faster than any of Spiritual or Gospel versions of this song that I've heard.

* "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.

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THE RELIGIOUS SOURCE OF THIS SONG
The African American civil rights song "Do You Want Your Freedom (Certainly Lord)is based on an African American Spiritual "Have You Got Good Religion (Certainly Lord). Click this page of my pancocojams blog for a post about a Spiritual rendition of this song http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/08/rev-clay-evans-have-you-got-good.html.

Also, click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/06/certainly-lord-gospel-civil-rights.html "Certainly, Lord (Spiritual & Civil Rights Versions)" for another pancocojams post on this song.

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DO YOU KNOW OF A YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THIS CIVIL RIGHTS SONG?
I haven't found a YouTube video of the civil rights form of "Certainly Lord". If you know of such a video, please share that link in the comment section. Thanks!

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Viewer comments are welcome.

Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around (lyrics & video)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides lyrics and two videos of the civil rights song "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around" (Also given as "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round".)

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

EDITOR'S NOTE ABOUT ADDING COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG
With considerable regret, I have disabled the comment feature on this blog (and on my other blogs except for https://pancocojams.blogspot.com, because of the large number of spam comments that I received on those blogs.

Comments for those blogs can be sent to my email address azizip17 dot com at yahoo dot com for possible inclusion in a specific post on those blogs.


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LYRICS: AIN'T GONNA LET NOBODY TURN ME 'ROUND
Aint gonna let nobody
Turn me 'round
Turn me 'round
Aint gonna let nobody
Turn me round
I'm gonna keep on walkin'
Keep on talkin
Marchin into freedom land

[Follow the above pattern for other verses such as:
Aint gonna let (add the name a prominent segregationist or a racist public figure).

Aint gonna let no jailhouse

Aint gonna let no policeman
-snip-
*Notice that the end of the first line allows for improvisation.

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GOSPEL SOURCE OF THIS SONG
The African American civil rights song "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round" is based on an African American Gospel song "Don't Let Nobody Turn Me Round". A version of that song was recorded in 1947.

The African American Civil Rights song "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round" is based on an African American Gospel song with the same title. In the Gospel song, the line "marchin in to freedom land" is sung "walkin into Glory land" or "walkin into heaven land".

Like other civil rights songs, the words to this song aren't fixed. However, "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round" was sung in unison which means that those singing it knew in advance which verses were to be sung, and in which order the verses were sung. In contrast, the earliest renditions of the Gospel song probably were sung using a call & response pattern.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/06/aint-gonna-let-nobody-turn-me-round.html for two videos of Gospel versions of "Don't Let Nobody Turn You Round" - one by The Fairfield Four from the 1980s and one sung by Albertina Walker. The Fairfield Four first recorded this song in 1947. I'm not sure about the recording date for that Albertina Walker video. But I think it was in the early 2000s.

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SHOWCASE VIDEOS

These videos are presented in chronological order based on their posting date on YouTube with the oldest dated video given first.

Example #1: Joan Baez -Marching up to freedom land

Mata Pöze, Uploaded on Aug 4, 2006

Joan baez singing acapella
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Example #2: Selma lord Selma-ain't gonna let nobody turn me around

0bigcat, Published on Mar 9, 2012
-snip-
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selma,_Lord,_Selma
"Selma, Lord, Selma is a 1999 American film based on true events that happened in March 1965, known as Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama. The film tells the story through the eyes of an 11-year-old African American girl named Sheyann Webb (Jurnee Smollett). It premiered as a television movie on ABC on January 17, 1999.

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Example #3: The Freedom Singers Perform at the White House

infomisa, Published on Sep 16, 2012

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Example #4: Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around

Justiciarodante, Sweet Honey In The Rock, Published on Apr 24, 2014

Music : "Ain' Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round" by Sweet Honey In The Rock, James Horner

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Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/06/aint-gonna-let-nobody-turn-me-round.html for additional videos of the civil rights song "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around".

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Viewer comments are welcome.

Lift Every Voice And Sing (lyrics, information, & video)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides information about and lyrics for the song "Lift Every Voice and Sing". That song has been called "the Black national anthem (formerly, "the Negro national anthem"). This post also includes a video example of that song.

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

EDITOR'S NOTE ABOUT ADDING COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG
With considerable regret, I have disabled the comment feature on this blog (and on my other blogs except for https://pancocojams.blogspot.com, because of the large number of spam comments that I received on those blogs.

Comments for those blogs can be sent to my email address azizip17 dot com at yahoo dot com for possible inclusion in a specific post on those blogs.

All copyrights remain with their owners.


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LYRICS - LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING
(James Weldon Johnson)

Lift every voice and sing,
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list’ning skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chast’ning rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered.
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who hast by Thy might,
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.

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HISTORY OF 'LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING"
From http://www.shmoop.com/lift-every-voice-and-sing/meaning.html
“Lift Every Voice and Sing” was written by a school principal and first performed by 500 children in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1900. Though unveiled as part of a community celebration in honor of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, the song quickly spread outside the community of Jacksonville. Within a decade, black school children across America were singing the song, and in 1919, the recently formed National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) adopted “Lift Every Voice and Sing” as its official song. Today, the song is frequently described as the “African American National Anthem.”

James Weldon Johnson was 29 years old and the principal of Stanton School when he was asked to prepare something for the Lincoln celebration. He first wrote a poem, but anxious to have a real impact, he asked his brother, J. Rosamond Johnson, a trained composer, to set his words to music...

In the song’s first verse, Johnson urged his chorus to sing a joyful song of hope and faith; African Americans should rejoice as a “new day” was dawning. In the second verse, though, this all-positive tone was traded for a bitter reflection on American history. While not mentioning slavery specifically, he calls all to remember that “stony the road we trod, bitter the chast'ning rod.” Blacks may have been marching toward a new day, but the path had led “through the blood of the slaughtered.” And while there was hope for the future—“now we stand at last where the white gleam of our star is cast”—it was not yet time to relax. There was more work left to do, more battles to be fought. Therefore, he urged, “Let us march on till victory is won...

It’s entirely possible that the song has remained popular for over a century because it speaks to people advocating different approaches and methods. Steeped in religion, the song is a demand for faith. Aware of history, it invokes images of the past while at the same time acknowledging signs of progress. “Lift every Voice and Sing” survives as an anthem because it conjures up the right mix of emotion. It suggests that people should be joyful and angry, grateful for the change that has already occurred, yet mindful that the struggle is not over yet..”

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WHY "LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING" IS CALLED THE BLACK NATIONAL ANTHEM [Revised November 8, 2016]
"Lift Every Voice And Sing" is referred to as the Black National Anthem (formerly, the Negro National Anthem). That title was probably conferred on that song by the civil rights organization, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) who adopted "Lift Every Voice And Sing" as their organization's theme song in 1919.

It's important to emphasize that referring to "Lift Every Voice And Sing" as the Black national anthem was never meant to indicate or suggest that African Americans aren't part of the United States or that most African Americans wanted to form a nation separate from the United States. Instead, referring to "Lift Every Voice And Sing" as the Black national anthem term recognizes the fact that (most) African Americans consider ourselves (and are considered by others to be) a population within the larger population of the United States.

I learned "Lift Every Voice And Sing" in the early 1960s through my membership in the junior (children and teens) branch of the NAACP civil rights organization in Atlantic City, New Jersey. During that time, everyone was supposed to stand up out of respect while singing "Lift Every Voice And Sing" and men were supposed to remove their hats.

In introducing this song during the 1973 Watts (Los Angeles, California) concert -as shown in the video below- Black activist Jesse Jackson directs the huge audience to stand and raise their fist in the black power salute while singing "Lift Every Voice And Sing". The audience did so, but that Black power salute wasn't usually done for that song or for any other song. That said, I think that the reason that Jesse Jackson added that salute to the singing of the Black national anthem was to have the mostly young adult Black people attending that concert show respect for their past, and show determination to keep on pushing for the rights that Black people are supposed to have in the United States.

My sense is that few African Americans under the age of forty years old know the words to "Lift Every Voice And Sing". I also think that few African Americans under the age of forty years old know that that song is called the "Black (African American) national anthem. "Lift Every Voice And Sing" is seldom sung at social gatherings that I've attended in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-from the late 1960s to date, including in gatherings that were considered to be afrocentric. And when that song was sung at two Black community cultural events in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the 1990s, few people knew the words without reading the lyrics in the program, and few people (besides me) stood up out of respect while singing this song. I strongly regret this relative lack of knowledge about "Lift Every Voice And Sing" -and other civil rights songs and I'm determined to do my part to address this lack of knowledge by publishing information, lyrics, and video examples of civil rights songs on this blog.

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SHOWCASE VIDEO EXAMPLE - Wattstax THE Black National Anthem KIM WESTON

mistachuckPublished on Jul 6, 2014

100,000 Black PEople in UNITY STAND for the national BLACK Anthem

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