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.
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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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