Archive for the 'Spiritual' Category



Give Me Oil In My Lamp


h1 Saturday, September 1st, 2012

“Give Me Oil In My Lamp” is great old Gospel song that I recorded on the Byrds’ “Easy Rider” album back in 1969. It’s derived from Matthew 25:1-3 in the Bible: “The kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them” In the end the foolish virgins ran out of oil.

Lyrics:
Verse 1:
[G] Give me oil in my lamp,
[C] Keep me burning,
[G] Give me oil in my lamp, [A] I pray. [D]
[G] Give me oil in my lamp,
[C] Keep me burning,
[G] Keep me burning
Till the [D] break of [G] day.

Chorus:
[G] Sing hosanna! [C] sing hosanna!
[D] Sing hosanna to the [G] King of kings!
Sing hosanna! [C] sing hosanna!
[D] Sing hosanna to the [G] King!

Verse 2:
Give me joy in my heart,
Keep me singing.
Give me joy in my heart, I pray.
Give me joy in my heart,
Keep me singing.
Keep me singing
Till the break of day.

Jacob’s Dream


h1 Sunday, July 1st, 2012

Painting by William Blake c. 1800

This is a variation of the spiritual “Jacob’s Ladder” There have been many versions of this, some used to organize unions by changing the lyrics. The description of Jacob’s ladder appears in Genesis 28:10-19,
“Jacob left Beersheba, and went toward Haran. He came to the place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! And behold, the Lord stood above it [or "beside him"] and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your descendants; and your descendants shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and by you and your descendants shall all the families of the earth bless themselves. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done that of which I have spoken to you.” Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place; and I did not know it.” And he was afraid, and said, “This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

I’ve used six key modulations in this, starting in B and ascending to the octave B

Lyrics:
Jacob’s dream beheld a ladder X 3
Glory to the Lord

Its top reached all the way to heaven X 3
Glory to the Lord

Holy angels were ascending X 3
Glory to the Lord

Behold the Lord God stood above it X 3
Glory to the Lord

And the Lord God spoke a blessing X3
Glory to the Lord

I am with you and will keep you X3
Glory to the Lord

Jacob woke up from his sleeping X3
Glory to the Lord

Let My People Go!


h1 Sunday, April 1st, 2012

One of the greatest spirituals, just in time for Passover and Easter!

Lyrics:
When Israel was in Egypt’s Land
Let my people go
Opressed so hard they could not stand
Let my people go.

Chorus:
[Gm] Go down, [Cm] Moses
[Gm] Way down in Egypt’s Land.
Tell ol’ [Cm] Pharoah
[D7] Let my people [Gm] go.

Thus saith the Lord, bold Moses said
Let my people go
If not, I’ll smite your first-born dead
Let my people go.

Chorus:
Go down, Moses
Way down in Egypt’s Land.
Tell ol’ Pharoah
Let my people go.

No more shall they in bondage toil
Let my people go
Let them come out with Egypt’s spoil
Let my people go.

Chorus:
Go down, Moses
Way down in Egypt’s Land.
Tell ol’ Pharoah
Let my people go.

The Lord told Moses what to do
Let my people go
To lead the Hebrew children through
Let my people go.

Chorus:
Go down, Moses
Way down in Egypt’s Land.
Tell ol’ Pharoah
Let my people go.

O come along Moses, you’ll not get lost
Let my people go
Stretch out your rod and come across
Let my people go.

Chorus:
Go down, Moses
Way down in Egypt’s Land.
Tell ol’ Pharoah
Let my people go.

As Israel stood by the waterside
Let my people go
At God’s command it did divide
Let my people go.

Chorus:
Go down, Moses
Way down in Egypt’s Land.
Tell ol’ Pharoah
Let my people go.

When they reached the other shore
Let my people go
They sang a song of triumph o’er
Let my people go.

Chorus:
Go down, Moses
Way down in Egypt’s Land.
Tell ol’ Pharoah
Let my people go.

Pharaoh said he’d go across
Let my people go
But Pharaoh and his host were lost
Let my people go.

Chorus:
Go down, Moses
Way down in Egypt’s Land.
Tell ol’ Pharoah
Let my people go.

Jordan shall stand up like a wall
Let my people go
And the walls of Jericho shall fall
Let my people go.

Chorus:
Go down, Moses
Way down in Egypt’s Land.
Tell ol’ Pharoah
Let my people go.

Your foes shall not before you stand
Let my people go
And you’ll possess fair Canaan’s land
Let my people go.

Chorus:
Go down, Moses
Way down in Egypt’s Land.
Tell ol’ Pharoah
Let my people go.

O let us all from bondage flee
Let my people go
And let us all in Christ be free
Let my people go.

Chorus:
Go down, Moses
Way down in Egypt’s Land.
Tell ol’ Pharoah
Let my people go.

We need not always weep and mourn
Let my people go
And wear these slavery chains forlorn
Let my people go.

Chorus:
Go down, Moses
Way down in Egypt’s Land.
Tell ol’ Pharoah
Let my people go.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlmen


h1 Thursday, December 1st, 2011

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen as described on Carols.org.uk

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen was first published in 1833 when it appeared in “Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern,” a collection of seasonal carols gathered by William B. Sandys. The lyrics of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen are traditional olde English and are reputed to date back to the 15th century although the author is unknown.. It is believed that this particular carol was sung to the gentry by town watchmen who earned additional money during the Christmas season. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen continues to be enjoyed. The lyrics to this simple carol are reputed to be one of the oldest carols.

I recorded the vocals and acoustic guitar at the Lee’s “Farm Niente” over Thanksgiving 2011. When I got home I overdubbed the Rickenbacker 370/12/RM JETGLO which Bill Lee graciously gave me.

Lyrics:

[Dm] God rest ye merry, gentlemen? let nothing you dismay?
Remember, Christ, our Saviour? was born on Christmas day?
[Gm] To save us all from [Dm] Satan’s power ?when we were gone [C] astray?
[Dm] O tidings of comfort and joy,? comfort and [C] joy?
[Dm] O tidings of [C] comfort and [Dm] joy??

In Bethlehem, in Israel,? this blessed Babe was born?
And laid within a manger? upon this blessed morn?
To which His Mother Mary ?did nothing take in scorn?
O tidings of comfort and joy,? comfort and joy
?O tidings of comfort and joy??

From God our Heavenly Father? a blessed Angel came;?
And unto certain Shepherds? brought tidings of the same:?
How that in Bethlehem was born? the Son of God by Name.?
O tidings of comfort and joy,? comfort and joy?
O tidings of comfort and joy??

“Fear not then,” said the Angel,?” Let nothing you affright,?
This day is born a Saviour? of a pure Virgin bright,?
To free all those who trust in Him ?from Satan’s power and might.
“?O tidings of comfort and joy,? comfort and joy?
O tidings of comfort and joy??

The shepherds at those tidings? rejoiced much in mind,?
And left their flocks a-feeding?In tempest, storm and wind:
?And went to Bethlehem straightway? the Son of God to find.?
O tidings of comfort and joy,? comfort and joy?
O tidings of comfort and joy??

And when they came to Bethlehem? where our dear Saviour lay,?
They found Him in a manger,? where oxen feed on hay;?
His Mother Mary kneeling down,? unto the Lord did pray.?
O tidings of comfort and joy,? comfort and joy
?O tidings of comfort and joy??

Now to the Lord sing praises,? all you within this place,?
And with true love and brotherhood? each other now embrace;?
This holy tide of Christmas? all other doth deface.?
O tidings of comfort and joy,? comfort and joy?
O tidings of comfort and joy

Paul & Silas


h1 Friday, July 1st, 2011

A classic Gospel song, in the picking style I learned from Earl Scruggs.
Lyrics:

[A] Paul and Silas bound in jail
All night long
[D] Paul and Silas bound in jail
All night [A] long
[A] Paul and Silas bound in jail
All night [A] long
Cryin’ He shall [E] deliver [A] me

Jailer come and lock the gate
All night long X3
Cryin’ He shall deliver me

That old jail did reel and rock
All night long X3
Cryin’ He shall deliver me

Paul and Silas prayed to God
All night long X3
Cryin’ He shall deliver me

Paul and Silas bound in jail
All night long X3
Cryin’ He shall deliver me

I’m On My Way


h1 Thursday, July 1st, 2010

I learned “I’m On My Way” at the Old Town School of Folk Music. It’s a Southern religious song that was adapted along with others such as “We Shall Overcome” for the Civil Rights Movement.

I used drums, banjo, bass and Rickenbacker 12-string for the track.

Lyrics:
[G] I’m on my way, I won’t turn [D] back
?I’m on my way, and I won’t turn [G] back?
I’m on my way, I won’t turn [C] [Am] back
?[G] I’m on my way, [D] praise God?
[G] I’m on my way.?
I ask my brother to come and go with me
?I ask my brother come and go with me
?I ask my brother come and go with me?
I’m on my way, praise God
?I’m on my way.

If he says no, I’ll go anyway
If he says no, I’ll go anyway
If he says no, I’ll go anyway
I’m on my way, praise God
?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’m on my way, and I won’t turn back
?I’m on my way, I won’t turn back
?I’m on my way, I won’t turn back
?I’m on my way, praise God
?I’m on my way.

I’ll Fly Away


h1 Thursday, October 1st, 2009

This grand old gospel song has been sung for generations in the southern United States. I married a southern woman in 1978 and soon learned to pronounce words that I had always thought should have one syllable with the proper two syllables.

Lyrics:

I’ll Fly Away

[A] Some bright morning when this life is over
[D] I’ll fly [A] away
To that home on God’s celestial shore
I’ll [E] fly [A] away

I’ll fly away oh Lordy
[D] I’ll fly [A] away (in the morning)
When I die hallelujah by and by
I’ll [E] fly [A] away

When the shadows of this life have gone
I’ll fly away
Like a bird from these prison walls
I’ll fly away

Oh how glad and happy when we meet
I’ll fly away
No more cold iron shackles on my feet
I’ll fly away

Just a few more weary days and th-en
I’ll fly away
To a land where joys will never e-nd
I’ll fly away

Dry Bones


h1 Friday, May 1st, 2009

Originally recorded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford – February 1928 in Ashland, Kentucky. I learned this song from the Harry Smith Anthology. What I love most about it is its melodic chorus. Although Lunsford simply accompanied himself on banjo, I’ve added guitar and mandolin to my recording.

Lyrics:

Roughly in the key of G#

Oh Enoch he lived to be, three hundred and sixty-five
When the Lord came and took him, back to heaven alive

I saw
I saw the light from heaven, a-shining all around
I saw the light come shining, I saw that light come down

When Paul sleeping in prison them prison walls fell down
The prison keeper shouted “Praise King and love I’ve found!”

I saw
I saw the light from heaven, a-shining all around
I saw the light come shining, I saw the light come down

When Moses saw that-a burning bush, he walk-ed round and round
Then the Lord said to Moses “You’s treadin’ holy ground.”

I saw
I saw the light from heaven, a-shining all around
I saw the light come shining, I saw the light come down

Dry bones in that valley, got up and took a little walk
The deaf could hear and the dumb could talk

I saw
I saw the light from heaven, a-shining all around
I saw the light come shining, I saw the light come down
Adam and Eve in the garden, under that sycamore tree
Eve said “Adam, a Satan is a-temptin’ me.

I saw
I saw the light from heaven, a-shining all around
I saw the light come shining, I saw the light come down

Go Tell It On The Mountain


h1 Monday, December 1st, 2008

I bought a mandolin in Ft. Worth Texas on this tour and decided to use it here. I remember hearing this song on a vinyl two record set with a pop-up Christmas scene called “Home For Christmas,” sung by Mahalia Jackson. It has always been a favorite.

More From Wikipedia:

“Go Tell It on the Mountain” is an African-American spiritual dating back to at least 1865 that has been sung and recorded by many gospel and secular performers. It is considered a Christmas carol because its original lyric celebrates the Nativity: “Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere; go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born.”

In 1963, Peter Yarrow, Noel “Paul” Stookey, and Mary Travers, along with their musical director, Milt Okun, adapted and rewrote “Go Tell It on the Mountain” as “Tell It on the Mountain”, their lyrics referring specifically to Exodus and employing the line “Let my people go,” but implicitly referring to the Civil Rights struggle of the early ’60s. The song was recorded by Yarrow, Stookey and Travers on their Peter, Paul and Mary album In the Wind and was also a moderate hit single for them. (US #33 pop, 1964). Civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer used this rewritten version of the song as an anthem during the mid-1960s.

Other artists, besides Peter, Paul and Mary, who have recorded the song (chiefly on either Christmas-themed music albums or collections of spirituals or folk songs) include:

* The New Christy Minstrels
* Simon & Garfunkel
* Bob Marley
* Mahalia Jackson
* Fred Hammond
* Kirk Franklin
* Candi Staton
* Frank Sinatra & Bing Crosby
* James Taylor
* Cece Winans
* Anne Murray
* Vanessa L. Williams
* Jewel
* Dustin Kensrue
* Bruce Cockburn
* Little Big Town
* Sherill Milnes
* John Rutter and the Cambridge Singers
* Sara Evans
* Jim Nabors
* Toby Keith
* Peter Tosh
* The Blind Boys of Alabama
* Oh Susanna – for the holiday compilation album, Maybe This Christmas Too? (2003)
* Dolly Parton
* Carola Häggkvist
* Bobby Darin
* Art Paul Schlosser (who rewrote the lyrics for kids with the title, “Go Tell it On the Swingset”)
* The Gas House Gang

Lyrics:

Refrain
[F] Go, tell it on the mountain,
[C] Over the hills and [F] everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain,
That [F] Jesus [C] Christ is [F] born.

[C] The shepherds feared and [F] trembled,
[C] When low above the [F] earth,
[C] Rang out the angels chorus
That [G7] hailed our Savior’s [C] bi–rth.
Refrain

While shepherds kept their watching
o’er silent flocks by night,
Behold, throughout the heavens
There shone a holy li–ght
Refrain

And lo! When they had heard it,
They all bowed down to pray,
Then travelled on together,
To where the Baby la–y.
Refrain

Down in a lowly manger
The humble Christ was born
And God sent us salvation
That blessed Christmas mo–rn.
Refrain

Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho


h1 Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Joshua Fit de Battle is one of the best known examples of “Negro Spiritual” music.
These were songs created by an enslaved people – African Americans who lived in this land for over 300 years – just about the same length of time that the Hebrew people were enslaved in Egypt. American slaves were forbidden to read or write or to gather in groups.

Jericho is one of the oldest cities in the world. Located on the Jordan river, one of the few sources of water in a hot dry land, and on major trade routes, it has been battled over many, many times. If you go to Jericho today you find a barren, high hill overlooking the modern city. This hill, or “tell” is a human, not a natural, landmark. It was created by successive destruction and rebuilding of the city.

Lyrics:

[Em] Joshua fit de battle of Jericho, [D] Jericho, [Em] Jericho,
[Em] Joshua fit de battle of Jericho, and the [Am] walls came a [G] tumbalin’ down.

[Em] You may talk about your men of Gideon,
you may talk about your men of Saul,
but there’s none like good old [Am] Josh-a-ua,
at the [G] battle of [Em] Jericho, that morning;

VERSE 2
Joshua rose early in the morning,
that is when the trumpets blew,
they marched around the city,
at the battle of Jericho.

VERSE 3
Right up to the walls of Jericho,
he marched with spear in hand,
Joshua commanded the children to SHOUT,
and the walls came a tumbalin’ down, down, down, down;

LAST REFRAIN
Joshua fit de battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho,
Joshua fit de battle of Jericho, the trumpets they did blow, so,
Joshua fit de battle of Jericho, and the walls came a tumbalin’ down.

ENDING
Joshua fit de battle of Jericho, now you know, Jericho,
Joshua fit de battle of Jericho, and the walls came a tumbalin’ down.
Now you know who tore the wall down,
now you know who tore the wall down, down, down,
Joshua!(in a whisper)